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Who . . . began diligently and earnestly to prayse that strayte 
and rygorous iustice, which at that tyme was there executed 
fellones, who as he sayde, were for the most part xx hanged 
vpon one gallowes. Sir THOMAS MORE, Utopia, about 


u& : 






^-,- - 


D ..ift. 





10 men hanged in Englande in a yere ffor 
robbery and manslaughter, then ther be hanged in Ffraunce ffor 
such maner of crime in vij yeres. 


Than stele they, or Rubbe they. Forsoth they can nat chuse, 
For without Londe or Labour hard is it to mentayne, 
But to thynke on the Galows that is a careful payne. 

But be it payne or nat : there many suche ende. 
At Newgate theyr garmentis are offred to be solde. 
Theyr bodyes to the Jebet solemly ascende, 
Wauynge with the wether whyle theyr necke wyl holde. 

ALEXANDER BARCLAY, The Ship of Fools, 1509. 

Je suis persuade que dans les treize cantons et leurs allies, on pend 
moins de voleurs dans un an, que 1'on ne fait a Londres dans une 
seule assise. 

CESAR DE SAUSSURE, Lettres et Voyages, 1725-1729. 

Many cart-loads of our fellow-creatures are once in six weeks 
carried to slaughter. HENRY FIELDING, Enquiry, etc., 1751. 

The following malefactors were executed at Tyburn . . . John 
Kelly, for robbing Edward Adamson in a public street, of sixpence 
and one farthing. Gentleman's Magazine, March 7, 1783. 

It is frequently said by them [the prisoners in Newgate] that the 
crimes of which they have been guilty are as nothing when compared 
with the crimes of Government towards themselves : that they have 
only been thieves, but that their governors have been murderers. 
Mrs. FRY, 1818, quoted in Romilly's Life, ii. 486-7. 


How our fathers lived is a subject of never-failing 
interest : of some interest it may be to inquire how they 
died at Tyburn. The story has many aspects, some 
noble, some squalid, some pathetic, some revolting. If 
I am reproached with dwelling on the horrors of Tyburn, 
I take refuge under the wing of the great Lipsius, who, 
in his treatise De Cruce, has lavished the stores of his 
appalling erudition on a subject no less terrible. 

But the subject has an interest other than antiquarian. 
We are to-day far from the point of view of Shelley 

" Power like a desolating pestilence 
Pollutes whate'er it touches." 

The general tendency is all towards extending the power 
of governments. Some would fain extend the sphere of 
the State's activity so as to give to the State control over 
almost every action of our daily lives. It may therefore 
be not without use to recall how governments have dealt 
with the people in the past. The State never voluntarily 
surrenders anything of its power. Less than a hundred 
years ago, ministers stoutly defended their privilege of 
tearing out a man's bowels and burning them before his 
eyes. The State devised and executed hideous punish- 
ments, sometimes made still more hideous by the ferocity 
of its instruments, the judges. All mitigation of these 
punishments has been forced on the State by " idealists." 


The State dragged its victims, almost naked, three miles 
over a rough road. The hands of compassionate friars 
placed the sufferer on a hurdle not without threats of 
punishment for so doing. In the end, the State adopted 
the hurdle. So it has always been. Not a hundred 
years ago, Viscount Sidmouth, the Home Secretary, 
could see no reason for altering the law which awarded 
the penalty of death to one who had stolen from a shop 
goods to the value of five shillings. To Romilly, though 
he did not live to see this result of his untiring labours in 
the cause of humanity, we may gratefully ascribe the 
abolition of the extreme penalty for this offence. 

On this field, as on others, the victories of civilisation 
have been won by the individual in conflict with the 

I desire to thank Mr. C. W. Moule, the Librarian of 
Corpus Christi College, and the College authorities, for 
permission, most courteously granted, to reproduce the 
drawing by Matthew Paris showing Sir William de 
Marisco being drawn to the gallows. 

I am indebted to Mr. Herbert Sieveking for permission 
to reproduce, from a photograph taken for him, the print 
from the Gardner Collection showing an execution at 
Tyburn. I am in an especial degree obliged to him for 
calling my attention to Norden's map of Middlesex, the 
subject of an article by him in the Daily Graphic of 
September 4, 1908. 




EXECUTE ? . . . . .6 



THE HANGMAN ..... 44 

AFTER TYBURN . . . . . -49 



ANNALS . . . ... . 73 

INDEX ....... 269 





COMMON . . . . . . Frontispiece 

From a print in the Crowle Pennant, Print Room, British 
Museum, Part VIII., No. 242. Probable date, 1748, or 
somewhat later. The triangular gallows is probably that 
erected for the execution in 1746 of the rebels of 1745. The 
bodies on the gibbet are those of highwaymen or mur- 



TREE . . . . . . . 62 

A portion of a map of Middlesex engraved by John Norden 
for William Camden's " Britannia," edition of 1607. 

THE TRIPLE TREE ABOUT 1614 . . . .64 

The illustration reproduces the frontispiece of a book. The 
gallows is shown in the uppermost lozenge on the left. 


From Sir Richard Colt Hoare's " Hungerfordiana ; or, 
Memoirs of the Family of Hungerford," 1823. 

THE TRIPLE TREE IN 1712 . . . .66 

From a broadsheet published by the Rev. Paul Lorrain, 
the Ordinary of Newgate, containing an account of an 
execution at Tyburn, on September 19, 1712. 

THE TRIPLE TREE IN 1746 . . . .68 

Reduced from Rocque's 24-sheet Map of London, etc., 
begun in March, 1737, and published in October, 1746. 




Showing the locality before the alternations of 1908. 
Reduced from the Ordnance large-scale map of 1895. 


TO TYBURN IN 1242 . . . . QO 

From a contemporary drawing by Matthew Paris in the 
MS. " Chronica Majora," in the possession of Corpus 
Christi College, Cambridge. Reproduced here by permis- 
sion of the Librarian and authorities of the College. 


From " The Life and Death of Mr. Genings." (See illus- 
tration facing p. 64.) 


From " The Life and Death of Mr. Genings." (See illus- 
tration facing p. 64.) 

THE TRIPLE TREE ABOUT l68o .... 198 

From a print in the Gardner Collection. Reproduced, 
with Mr. Gardner's permission, by Mr. Herbert Sieveking, 
who allows this reproduction from a photograph taken 
for him. 


William Spiggott under the press in Newgate, in 1721. 
From the (anonymous) " Newgate Calendar," 5 vols., 1773. 

THE TRIPLE TREE IN 1747 , , . . 240 

Reduced from the last plate of Hogarth's series of " Industry 
and Idleness," showing the execution at Tyburn of Thomas 


Showing the body of a murderer after dissection, in accord- 
ance with the provisions of the Act of 1752. From " The 
New and Complete Newgate Calendar," by William 
Jackson, of the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law, 6 vols., 




Showing Dr. Cameron being drawn to Tyburn in 1753. 
From " The Old Bailey Chronicle," by James Montague, of 
the Temple, 4 vols., 1783. 


From a print in the Grace Collection, Print Room, British 
Museum, Views, Portfolio XXX., No. 3). This was one of 
the earliest executions on the new movable gallows. 


From " The Old Bailey Chronicle," as above. 


Pages 62-65, an d illustration. 

Norden's map of 1607 gives the first indication of the 
site of the triangular gallows, but, in writing of the map as 
giving the earliest known representation of the gallows, I 
had forgotten Richard Verstegen's " Theatrum Crudelitatum 
Haereticorum nostri temporis," Antwerp, 1587. The Triple 
Tree is shown quite correctly as to form, without indication 
of site, on p. 83. 

Page 170, "put them to the manacles" 

This instrument of torture is shown in the above-mentioned 
book, in an engraving on page 75, the description, here trans- 
lated, being : " An instrument of iron which presses and 
doubles up a man into a globe-shape. In this they put 
Catholics, and keep them in it for some hours." 



Its History and Annals 


LOOKING back down the long vista of six hundred years, 
we see an innumerable crowd faring to their death from 
the Tower of London or from the prison of Newgate to 
the chief of English Aceldamas, the field of blood 
known as Tyburn. Of this crowd there exists no census, 
we can but make a rough estimate of the number of 
those who suffered a violent death at Tyburn : a moderate 
computation would place the number at fifty thousand. 
It is composed of all sorts and conditions of men, of 
peers and populace, of priests and coiners, of murderers 
and of boys who have stolen a few pence, of clergymen 
and forgers sometimes of men who in their person 
unite the two characters of men versed in the literature 
of Greece and Rome, of men knowing no language but 
the jargon of thieves. Cheek by jowl are men convicted 
of the most hideous crimes men whose only offence 
it is that they have refused to renounce their most 
cherished beliefs at the bidding of tyrant king or tyrant 
mob. As a final touch of grim humour the ex-hangman 
sometimes figures in the procession, on the way to be 
hanged by his successor. 

They fare along their Via Dolorosa in many ways. 
Some bound and laid on their back are dragged by 


horses over the rough and miry way, three miles long ; 
a few are on horseback ; some walk between guards ; the 
most are borne in carts which carry also due provision 
of coffins presently to receive their bodies. All make 
a halt at the Hospital of Saint Giles-in-the-Fields, where 
they are " presented with a great bowl of ale, thereof to 
drink at their pleasure, as to be their last refreshment 
in this life." 

It is for the most part a nameless, unrecorded crowd. 
For hundreds of years only a single figure emerges here 
and there from the throng. During a few decades only 
of the history of Tyburn do we see clearly and in detail 
the figures in these dismal processions. They go, in 
batches of ten, fifteen, twenty, laughing boys, women 
with children at the breast, highwaymen decked out in 
gay clothes for this last scene of glory ; men and women 
drunk, cursing, praying. Some of the women are to be 
burnt alive ; of the men, some are to be simply hanged ; 
others, first half-hanged, are to have their bowels torn 
out and burnt before their eyes ; some are to be swung 
aloft till famine cling them. The long road is thronged 
with spectators flocking in answer to the invitation of the 
State to attend these spectacles, designed to cleanse the 
heart by means of pity and terror. To-day Tyburn 
what Tyburn means is, in spite of the jurists, at its last 
gasp. After a struggle of a hundred years hanging is 
all but abolished. The State has renounced its attempt 
to improve our morals by the public spectacle of violent 
deaths. The knell of capital punishment was rung when 
Charles Dickens compelled the State to do its hanging 
in holes and corners. 

The "Histories of England" do not tell us much 
about Tyburn. "The far greater part of those books 
which are called ' Histories of England,' " writes Cobbett, 
" are little better than romances. They treat of battles, 
negotiations, intrigues of courts, amours of kings, queens, 
and nobles ; they contain the gossip and scandal of 


former times, and very little else." Nor do we find much 
more in those most dismal of books called " Constitu- 
tional Histories." They mention Tyburn only in con- 
nection with the execution of some one who infringed 
the rules as at the time understood, of The Game played 
at Westminster, before the establishment of the present 
perfect accord between the Ins and the Outs, between 
those whom Cobbett irreverently calls the rooks at the 
top of the tree and the daws on the lower branches. 

The story of Tyburn is one of the strangest, surely one 
also of the saddest, in the history of the people. To 
understand it, we must consider the social and legal 
conditions which found their outcome at Tyburn. 



THESE questions have, after much experimenting, been 
so completely answered that it is to-day difficult to 
realise that each question has presented serious problems. 
We hang only those found guilty of murder, to the 
regret of jurists like Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, who 
thought that the punishment of death ought to be 
inflicted in many other cases. 1 But in times not very 
remote there were on the Statute Book, as has been 
reckoned, no fewer than two hundred capital offences. 
No man is now hanged except after trial and conviction 
by a Court of Assize, or by the Central Criminal Court. 
A person so convicted is executed by the common 
hangman in the simple manner invented long ago by 
some one who discovered that a rope tied about a man's 
neck is held in position by the projecting mass of the 

In old times the country swarmed with courts of 
inferior jurisdiction, each, however, with the power of 
hanging thieves. There is a satirical story telling how a 
man who had suffered shipwreck scrambled up a cliff, 
and, seeing a gallows, fell on his knees, and thanked God 

1 " My opinion is that we have gone too far in laying it [capital 
punishment] aside, and that it ought to be inflicted in many cases 
not at present capital. I think, for instance, that political offences 
should in some cases be punished with death. People should be 
made to understand that to attack the existing state of society is 
equivalent to risking their own lives " (" Hist, of the Criminal Law 
of England," 1880, i. 478). 

that he found himself in a Christian country. In the 
England of the thirteenth century he would not have 
had to travel far into the interior to find this mark of 
Christian civilisation. The right to erect a gallows was 
frequently granted, and perhaps even more frequently 
assumed without legal right. In the grants of franchises 
to monasteries we find, together with the concession of 
assize of bread and beer, and judgment of fire and water 
together with these we find franchise of "swa full and swa 
forth," &c., of sac and soc, tol and theam, flem and fleth, 
blodwith, grithbrith, flemensferd, infangethef and utfan- 
gethef. And among such franchises, some of which are 
a puzzle to the learned, we find a franchise easily under- 
stood, of " furca et fossa," of gallows and pit, gallows for 
men, pit, full of water, for women. 1 All these numerous 
franchises were rights of the crown jura regalia often 
granted to monasteries and to individuals. In a record 
of which more will have to be said, we read that at the 
end of the thirteenth century there were no fewer than 
fifteen gallows in the hundred of Newbury alone, mostly 
belonging to religious. Among them we find one 
belonging to a prioress, a not uncommon case. It is 
distressing to think that Chaucer's tender - hearted 
prioress, who "wolde weepe if that sche sawe a mous 
caught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde," had a 
gallows on which by the hands of her bailiff she 
hanged thieves. There is little doubt that she had her 

But one's first surprise at the enormous number of 
gallows subsides when we consider the conditions of life 
in early times. The country was thickly wooded : 
immense forests gave shelter to robbers, thieves, to all 
under the ban of the law. One of the laws of Ina runs, 
" If a far-coming man, or a stranger, journey through a 
wood, out of the highway, and neither shout nor blow 

1 Spelman, " Glossarium " (s.v. Furca) gives a notable instance of 
the drowning of a woman about A.D. 1200. 


his horn, he is to be held for a thief, either to be slain, 
or redeemed." To come to later times there is a 
tradition that the stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds 
was instituted for the purpose of putting down thieves. 
Tradition it may be called, for the conjecture is not 
supported by evidence. Thus, in a Parliamentary paper 
issued in 1894, there are some notes on the history of the 
stewardship. As to its origin, these notes do not go 
behind Wharton's Law Dictionary, and Chambers's 
Encyclopaedia. Here is the story of the origin of the 
stewardship, or as it would be more properly called, the 
wardenship. Leofstan, the abbat here named, was a 
friend of Edward the Confessor ; it is known from an 
old record that he was abbat in 1047. In reading the 
narrative we must remember that the " Ciltria " of the 
story was a wider district than that to which we now give 
the name of Chiltern. 


" This same abbat Leofstan, also called Plumstan, being a simple 
and pious man, full of compassion for all persons in peril, in order 
to make the roads safer for travellers, merchants and pilgrims faring 
to the church of the Blessed Alban, whether for the expiation of 
their sins, or for their worldly profit, caused to be cut down, chiefly 
along the royal road called Watling Street, the dense forests 
stretching from the border of Ciltria almost as far as to the north 
side of London : he also cleared the rough places, made bridges 
and levelled the way. For there were at that time all over Ciltria 
vast, dense forests, giving shelter to many different kinds of wild 
beasts, namely, wolves, wild boars, wild bulls, and stags, and, more 
dangerous still, to robbers, thieves by day and thieves by night, men 
banished from the realm, fugitives from justice. Wherefore abbat 
Leofstan not to the loss, but to the good of this church made 
over to a certain most stout and valiant knight, Turnot by name, 
and to two of his companions, Waldef and Thurman, the manor of 
Flamstude [Flamstead lies a little to the west of Watling Street], 
for which Turnot gave privately to the abbat five ounces of gold, a 
most beautiful palfrey, and a desirable greyhound. Which was done 
on these conditions that the said Turnot, with his fellow-knights 
before named, and their followers, should protect the western parts, 
most haunted by robbers, and effectually guard the same, with the 


stipulation that they should make good any loss arising from their 
negligence. And if a general war should break out in the kingdom, 
they should use their utmost diligence, and do all in their power to 
protect the church of St. Alban. And these covenants Turnot and 
his companions faithfully observed, as did also their heirs up to the 
time when King William conquered England. Then, because they 
disdained to come under the yoke of the Normans, the manor was 
tak/^n from them. Refusing to submit, they chose rather to betake 
themselves to the forest, and laid ambushes for the Normans who 
hud taken possession of their lands, burnt their houses, and killed 
r.iany of them. But, the king's affairs going well, some made 
iheir peace with him, some were captured and punished. . . . 
However, a certain noble, Roger de Thoni by name, who, in 
the distribution of lands, came into possession of the manor, did 
not refuse to acknowledge the right of St. Alban's, and zealously 
performed the before-mentioned duty. He was highly renowned in 
arms, a Norman by race, of the stock of those famous soldiers who 
are called after the Swan." x 

As the chronicler, who is supposed to have written 
before 1259, says nothing of any lapse of the agreement, 
it seems probable that it was still in force in his day, and 
that the wardenship has existed continuously from the 
eleventh century to our own days. 

About a century later matters had got from bad to 
worse : 

About 1160. A kind of robbers not before heard of began to infest 
the country. Disguised as monks, these men joined travellers, and 
when they reached the spot where their fellows were lying in 
ambush, they gave a signal, and, turning on the deluded wayfarers, 
robbed and murdered them. 2 

Still a century later, in 1249, bitter complaints were 
made by certain merchants of Brabant of the unsafe state 
of the roads in the neighbourhood of Winchester. These 
merchants had been robbed of two hundred marks by 
men whose faces they had seen about the court. They 
threatened reprisals on the goods of English merchants 
in Brabant. The king, greatly moved, took strong 

1 Walsingham, Gesta Abbatum Monas. S. Albani, ed. Riley, i. 39-41. 
* Chron. of the Reigns of Stephen, &c., ed. Hewlett, ii. 
Preface p. 1. 

r i; i 

^jJ <2 



measures. Twelve persons were selected and sworn to 
give up the names of robbers known to them, but after 
deliberation they refused to inculpate any one. They 
were thrown into prison, and twelve others were chosen. 
These, finding that the first twelve were condemned to be 
hanged, gave up the names of many men, of whom some 
thirty were hanged, an equal number being thrown into 
prison. It is clear that there existed a widespread 
organisation in which were involved some belonging to 
the king's household. These put the blame on the king 
himself : they had not received their pay, and were com- 
pelled to rob in order to maintain themselves. 

The severe measures taken on this occasion did not 
cure the disease. Four years later, the king, acting on 
the advice of certain Savoyards, decreed that if any one 
was robbed or injured on a journey, compensation should 
be made, according to the custom of Savoy, by those 
responsible for the safety of the district. But the new 
plan came to nothing. 1 

On a calm review of the facts it is difficult to resist the 
conclusion that civilisation has been immeasurably more 
favourable to the predatory classes than to any other 
class whatsoever. The coarse, rude methods of early 
times have given place to vastly improved ways of 
"conveying" a neighbour's goods. In the Paston 
Letters we read of nobles and great men laying siege 
with an armed force to a coveted house. The appropria- 
tion of " unearned increment " is at once more scientific 
and more productive. The arts of engraving and printing 
have been turned to the greatest advantage. A design, 
more or less elaborate, is produced, purporting to repre- 
sent a certain value expressed by numerals, as L. i, L. 50, 
or L. 100. Persons of high social position are found to 
assure the public that the pieces of paper on which these 

1 Matthew Paris, Chron. Maj., ed. Luard, v. 56-60, 369. The 
"Statute of Winchester," 13 Edward I. (1285), enacted that trees 
and brushwood should be cut down for 200 feet in width on either 
side of highways between market towns. 


designs are printed are worth much more than the 
expressed amount (known as the " face value "). 
Accomplices pretend to buy these pieces of paper at an 
enhanced price, the public follows suit, and in this way 
"shares," as they are called, which will never bring sixpence 
of revenue to the holder, have been known to be eagerly 
bought at many times the " face value." Many are the 
paths opened by civilisation to rapid accumulation. In 
addition to the company-monger, we have the " bucket- 
shop " keeper, the betting man, the army contractor, the 
loan-monger, the owner of yellow and blackmailing 
journals. Each of these, if only his operations are on a 
sufficiently large scale, may and does rise to high social po- 
sition. Each generation sees a vast extension and improve- 
ment of method. A man who was in his day the greatest 
of the tribe of company-mongers is said to have shed tears 
of bitter self-reproach for lost opportunities as he 
surveyed the operations of his successors. 

It must, in fairness, be admitted that the public finds 
its account in the new arts of relieving it of its money. 
Of old time Dunning, operating in the forests of Ciltria, 
too often took the life as well as the money of his 
victims. There is to-day no need of violence, and as all 
that a man has will he give for his life, the improvement 
of method is beneficial to the community generally. 
Thus all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. 

Little could the pioneers foresee of the triumphs of 
their successors. " William the Sacrist," if William it 
was who planned the robbery of the King's treasury in 
1303, perhaps the greatest burglary ever attempted, must 
have been a man of the highest genius. Had he lived in 
the nineteenth century he would have adopted more 
finished methods. He fell upon evil times, and his skin 
illustrates a door in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey 
(see p. 25). 

Yes, William, you and your like lived in cruel times ! 
You were called harsh names, fures, latrones, vespiliones, 


raptores, grassatores, robatores. To extirpate these old- 
time thieves, to bring them to the gallows, was, if not 
the whole duty of man, at least the first duty of the 
citizen. "Theft," writes Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, 
" seems to have been the crime of crimes. The laws are 
inexorable towards it. They assume everywhere that 
thieves are to be pursued, taken and put to death then 
and there." Bracton r gives instructions for the swearing- 
in of the whole male population over fifteen years of age 
for the purpose of hunting down malefactors. The 
justiciaries on their circuits are to call before them the 
greater men of the county, and to explain to them how 
it has been provided by the king and his council that all, 
as well knights as others of fifteen years of age and 
upwards, ought to swear that they will not harbour 
outlaws and murderers, robbers or burglars, nor hold 
converse either with them or their harbourers : that if 
they come to know any such, they will declare it to the 
sheriff or his bailiffs. And if they shall hear the Hutesium 
the Hue and Cry they shall immediately follow with 
their household and the men of their land. Let them 
follow the track to the boundary of their land, and show 
it to the lord of the adjoining land, so that pursuit may 
be made with all diligence from land to land till the 
malefactors are captured. There must be no delay in 
following the track ; it must be continued till nightfall. 
Such was the famous Hutesium the Hue and Cry the 
name of which remains with us to the present day. One 
of the old chroniclers tells how, in 1212, the Hue and Cry 
was raised causelessly, in a panic, and spread over almost 
the whole of England. 2 

The truth is that in the simple life of those days no 

1 " De Corona," book iii. Second Treatise, chap. i. 

* "Subito enim et sine certa causa, quasi lymphatico metu cor- 
repti, de villa in villam cum cornuum strepitu, quod Anglice Uthes 
dicitur, fere per totam Angliam deduxerunt " (" Hist. Coll. of Walter 
of Coventry," ed. Stubbs, ii. 206). 


robber nor thief had the smallest chance of posing as a 
great man. The field, too, was limited. Thieves and 
robbers could but operate on movable property or clip 
the coin. It was the misfortune of the depredators living 
in "the dark ages," that a thief not only was a thief, but 
was of all men known to be one. 

One begins to understand the fury with which robbers 
and thieves were pursued. Mr. Freeman says most 
justly, " In our settled times we hardly understand how 
rigour, often barbarous rigour, against thieves and 
murderers, should have been looked on as the first merit 
of a governor, one which was always enough to cover a 
multitude of sins." 1 To the same cause we may, no 
doubt, ascribe the singular fact that ecclesiastics, forbidden 
to shed blood, yet hanged men by the hands of their 
bailiffs. 2 An abbat, for example, had two parts to fulfil. 
As an ecclesiastic he gave shelter to thieves, as lord of 
the manor he hanged them. The abbat of Westminster 
had his servants waiting in Thieving Lane to show thieves 
the way to sanctuary : on the other hand, he had sixteen 
gallows in Middlesex alone.3 The contradiction is placed 
in the strongest light by the charter of Glastonbury, 
granted by Edgar (A.D. 958-975). The charter concedes 
"infangethef and utfangethef," the right to try and 
assuredly to hang thieves. But the very same charter 
grants that, if anywhere in the kingdom, the abbat or 
one of his monks should meet a thief being taken to the 
gallows, or otherwise in danger of his life, he could stay 
the execution of the sentence.4 

1 " Hist, of the Norman Conquest," ii. 34. 

* " De sorte qu'on a long-temps doute si un ecclesiastique pouvoit, 
sans hazard d'irregularite, faire exercer Justice de sang en sa terre ; 
estant chose etrange qu'on puisse commettre a autruy, ce qu'on ne 
peut faire soi-mesme" (Loyseau, CEuvres, ed. 1701, p. 4). 

3 Placita de Quo Waranto, p. 479. 

4 Chron. William of Malmesbury, ed. Stubbs, i. 171. 

An interesting story is told of the rescue by a bishop of a man in 
the year 1184. One, Gilbert Plumpton, actually had the rope round 




Oi " 


The insight into the state of the country in the late 
thirteenth century, given by the two publications of the 
Records Commission, Rotuli Hundredorum, and Placita 
de Quo Waranto, is so valuable that it may be permitted 
to glance at them. The preliminary to the first of these 
is the Act of the fourth of Edward I. (1276), the statute 
for assigning justices to the work. The statute, called 
" Rageman," a term of doubtful etymology, enacted that 
justices should go through the land inquiring into, 
hearing, and determining all complaints and suits for 
trespasses within twenty-five years last past, as well by 
the king's bailiffs as by all other persons whomsoever. 
These commissioners did their work with a thoroughness 
amazing when we consider the difficulty of travel in the 
times. The results are recorded in the Rotuli Hun- 
dredorum. On the evidence furnished by the Rotuli 
Hundredorum was passed the statute of Gloucester, in 
the sixth of Edward I. (1278). This Act put the burden 
of proof of lawful claim to franchises on the persons 
exercising them. The statute enacts that whereas pre- 
lates, earls, barons, and others of the kingdom claim 
to have divers franchises, persons may continue to 
exercise these franchises without prejudice to the king's 
rights until the next coming of the king into the county, 
or the next coming of the justices in Eyre, or until the 
king otherwise order. The sheriffs are to make proclama- 
tion that all who claim to have any franchise by charter 
or otherwise shall come at a certain day to a place 
assigned, to state what franchises they claim and by what 

his neck when the bishop passed by. He ordered the executioners 
to let the man down, alleging that the day was Sunday, and besides 
the feast of St. Mary Magdalene. But he had heard the people 
crying out that Plumpton was innocent, and he believed them. On 
threat of excommunication the executioners loosed the rope. The 
bishop prevailed with the king to spare Plumpton's life. Plumpton 
remained in prison till the death of the king (Chron. Roger de 
Hoveden, ed. Stubbs, ii. 286). 


In 1281 was issued, according to the annals of Waver- 
ley, a mandate " called by the people Quo Waranto, 
directed to certain justices, for inquiring respecting 
lands, tenements, rents, alleged to be alienated 
from the king, as well as regarding franchises held 
from him : by reason of which mandate archbishops, 
bishops, abbats, priors, earls, barons, and others hold- 
ing franchises, as well religious as others, were sub- 
jected to trouble and expense, although the king got 
little profit thereby ."i 

The statements found in the presentments of jurors in 
the Rotuli Hundredorum are, as might be surmised, 
somewhat in the nature of hearsay. They have not the 
value, as material for investigating the social condition 
of the time, of the more formal charges contained in the 
Placita de Quo Waranto. Thus we find, in the Rotuli 
Hundredorum, that the abbat of Westminster was pre- 
sented by the jurors of three several wards of the City of 
London as having gallows at Tyburn : in other cases 
gallows are mentioned as erected by the abbat in 
Middlesex, two places only being specified. But when 
we come to the Placita de Quo Waranto, we find that the 
abbat had gallows in fifteen places in Middlesex in addi- 
tion to one in the ville of Westminster. These places 
were, Eye (a district of Westminster), Teddington, 
Knightsbridge, Greenford, Chelsea, Brentford, Padding- 

1 Annales de Waverleia (in Annales Monastici), ed. Luard, ii. 
395. Waverley Abbey, which, by the way, has nothing to do with 
Scott's "Waverley," was founded in 1218, being the first Cistercian 
Abbey in England. The abbey is, of course, in ruins, but the abbat's 
mill still exists, and the place retains more of the character of 
a monastery than any I have seen. Cobbett, who was born at 
Farnham, not far distant, speaks of the ruins, which probably 
inspired one of the best passages in his writing. (" Hist, of the 
Protestant Reformation," pars. 184, 155.) In one of the abbey's 
charters mention is made of the oak of Tilford as existing in the 
time of Stephen. It is to-day one of the sights of this part of 


ton, Iveney, Laleham, Hampstead, Ecclesford, Staines, 
Halliford, Westbourne, and Shepperton. 1 

This inquisition is not to be confounded with another, 
singularly called " Trailbaston," relating to criminal 
matters, as the other related to civil affairs. " Trailbaston," 
which may be rendered " Bludgeon-men," has some- 
times been supposed to be so called from the justices 
themselves ; but it is more probable that, as we find the 
word in the earliest mention of the subject, the bludgeon- 
men were those against whom operations were directed, 
just as we might to-day speak of a "hooligan Act" if an 
Act were specially devoted to these gentry. 

The first official mention of Trailbaston is found in 
Rotuli Parliamentorum, under date 1305, when it already 
bore the nickname " Ordination de Trailbastons." Justices 
were then assigned to inquire as to murders and felonies 
committed during the last eight years. In 1306 the in- 
quisition, as would seem, had not got to work, as the king 
ordered that if the justices assigned are not sufficient for 
the duty, " a parfaire les busoignes qe touchent les pledz 
de Traillebaston," more are to be assigned to the work. 
Five days later he sent a list of twenty-one justices, and 
the thirty-eight counties allotted to them severally. The 
inquisition of Trailbaston was found to work mainly 
as a great engine of oppression. In 1377 the Commons 
petitioned that there may be no manner of Trailbaston 
held in the realm during the war nor for twenty years. 
It is alleged that both civil and criminal inquisitions 
had for object to bring money into the exchequer by 
means of fines. 2 

To return to the subject of the multiplicity of courts. 
It is to be supposed that, in the circumstances, there 
were frequently conflicts between courts as to their 

1 Rot. Hund., i. 407, 417, 418, 422, 425, 429; Plac. de Quo 
War., pp. 478, 480. 

' Spelman, " Glossarium," s.v. Trailbaston. Rot. Parl. i. 178, 
218-9; ii. 174; iii. 24. 


respective jurisdiction. Of this conflict we find curious 
instances in the chronicles. Thus, in 1249, a thief was 
caught on the land of the abbat of Tewkesbury, but was 
suffered by the abbat's bailiffs to be taken to the court 
of the Earl of Gloucester. After trial by this court the 
thief was hanged. On learning this, the abbat was 
greatly incensed, seeing that the franchise of his church 
had been invaded. Shortly after another case arose. 
John Milksop stole thirty-one pence from Walter 
Wymund, of Bristol. As soon as Walter discovered 
his loss, he raised the hue and cry, followed Milksop, 
traced him to a wood, captured him, and brought him 
into the abbat's court. The earl's bailiff protested : the 
abbat complained to the earl, who ordered inquiry. As 
nothing came of this, a second order was issued, and 
twelve persons were chosen to investigate the question. 
The abbat, finding the inquiry going against him, 
protested against the manner of proceeding, and went in 
person to the earl, then at some distance. The earl 
suggested that the abbat should keep the accused in 
prison till the earl's return home. The abbat objected 
that he had neither castle nor prison in which to keep 
the man for so long a time. Then the earl ordered a 
fresh inquiry to be made against his return, the abbat 
meanwhile to try the man in his own court, and to 
hang him on the earl's gallows. Milksop was tried 
accordingly, could make no good defence, and was 
hanged. The chronicle does not tell the end of the 
dispute. 1 

In the twelfth century the district near Dunstable, 
where Watling Street meets Icknield Street, was so 
infested by robbers that hardly could "a lawful man" 
pass that way. The chronicler, whose etymology is 
not above suspicion, states that Dunstable came by its 
name from one Dunning, a famous robber who haunted 
the region. Henry I., towards the end of his reign say 

1 Annals of Tewkesbury, in Annal. Monas., ed. Luard i. 511-6. 



about 1130 founded Dunstable Priory, making over to 
it all his rights, including a free gallows for hanging 
thieves outside the town of Dunstable, in a place called 
Edescote. 1 The prior's right was clear ; nevertheless, in 
1274, Eudo la Suche threw down the prior's gallows'and 
put up his own. 2 

Another instance. In 1290 Bogo de Knowill, the 
king's bailiff of Montgomery, complained to our lord 
the king that Edmund Mortimer had laid hands upon a 
king's man who had committed murder, had imprisoned 
him, in spite of the bailiff's demands, had refused to 
give him up, had tried him in his own court, and hanged 
him, to the hurt of the franchise of the town of Mont- 
gomery, and against the crown and its dignity, etc. 
The king declared that Mortimer had forfeited his 
franchise of Wygemore, but agreed to restore it on 
payment of a fine. But, in addition, Mortimer must 
hand over to Bogo, the bailiff, an effigy, in the name 
and place of the man who had been hanged, the bailiff 
to hang the effigy, and to let it hang as long as may be. 
After a while, Mortimer complained that the bailiff 
unjustly retained the franchise in the king's hand. 
Whereunto Bogo replied that the effigy had not been 
handed over to him, wherefore he held the franchise 
aforesaid until, etc. And the king ordered that the 
franchise should be held till the effigy should be handed 
over. This is the last heard of Bogo, Mortimer, and the 

In such cases more was touched than the dignity of 
the lord of the franchise. The concession of a franchise 
to hang generally included the right to " catalla felonum," 
the goods of felons and of fugitives. " These courts," says 
Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, " were a regular source of 
income to the lord of the franchise." Irregularities and 

1 Dugdale, Monast. Anglic., ed. in 8 vols., vi. 240. 

2 Annals of Dunstable, in Annal. Monast., ed. Luard, iii. 261. 

3 Rot. Parl., i. 45. 


tyrannies of these petty courts, quarrelling over the right 
to imprison and hang, may be assumed : we understand 
how it was that in popular risings the lawyers were 
always singled out for vengeance. 

How to execute ? Even in regard to the way of mere 
hanging, the problem presented difficulties. In France, 
a rigid etiquette guarded the method of hanging. A 
franchise might give the right to hang upon trees only. 1 
Some gallows had two pillars, some three, four, six, 
eight, according to the rank of the person erecting the 
gallows. 2 These nice distinctions are not to be 
discovered in English customs. There are, however, 
traces of strange practices. Four several bailiffs took 
part in the execution of a man hanged on the gallows 
of the prior of Spalding. The bailiff of Spalding 
brought the man to the gallows, the bailiff of Weston 
brought the ladder to the gallows, the bailiff of Pynce- 
becke found the rope, the rest was done by the bailiff 
of Multon.3 

But hanging was one only out of numerous 
methods of carrying out a capital sentence : ingenuity 
seems to have exhausted itself in devising ways of putting 
a man to death. A law of ^Ethelstan decrees, " Let him 
be smitten so that his neck break." 4 When leaving 
England for Palestine, Richard I. commanded that he 
who killed a man on board ship should be tied to the 
corpse and thrown into the sea : if the murder was 
committed on land, the murderer was to be buried alive 
with the body.s Boroughs had their own several 
customs. In one place any man taking another who 
had stolen to the value of 2s. 8d., might forthwith 
hang him : for a second offence the amount was 

1 Ducange, " Glossarium," s.v. Furca. 

3 Loyseau, "Traite des Seigneuries," ed. 1610, p. 46. 

3 Camden's " Britannia," ed. Gough, 1789, ii. 238. 

4 Thorpe, "Ancient Laws and Inst. of England," fo. ed., p. 125. 
3 Chron. Roger de Hoveden, ed. Stubbs, iii. 36. 


reduced to 8d. In Romney, at the end of the 
fifteenth century, the bailiff found the rope, the prose- 
cutor was bound to find a hangman. Failing this he 
must himself do the hanging, or be put in prison with 
the felon till such time as he could find a hangman, or 
resolve to hang the man with his own hands. In 
another place a miller stealing flour to the value of 4d. 
was to be hanged from the beam of his mill. 1 At 
Sandwich a murderer was buried alive on Thief Down, 
where perhaps golf is now played. 2 In London, at the 
beginning of the fourteenth century, a man convicted of 
treason in the court of the mayor, was bound to a stake 
in the Thames during two flows and two ebbs of the 
tide.3 Two centuries later "pirats and robbers by sea 
are condemned in the court of the admeraltie, and 
hanged on the shore at lowe water marke, where they 
are left till three tides haue ouerwashed them." 4 At 
Fordwich, in the fifteenth century, a man condemned to 
death was carried to a place called Thieves' Well, there 
bound hand and foot and thrown in by the prosecutor.s 
At Dover, the condemned man was led to a cliff called 
Sharpnesse, and there executed by " infalistation," a word 
which puzzled the learned Selden. It means that the 
offender was thrown over the cliff (falaise) on to the 
beach below. 6 Elsewhere the criminal was thrown 
into the harbour at high tide ; elsewhere, again, he was 

1 Borough Customs (Selden Soc.), pp. 73, 74. 

2 Boys' " Hist, of Sandwich," p. 465. 

3 Liber Custumarum, ed. Riley. i. 150. 

4 Harrison, in Holinshed's Chron. An instance is recorded in 
Machyn's Diary : " 1557. The vj day of Aprell was hangyd at the 
low-water marke at Wapyng be-yond santt Katheryns vij for 
robyng on the see," p. 131. According to Hentzner, who visited 
England about 1598, 300 pirates were hanged yearly in London. 

s Borough Customs (Selden Soc.), pp. 73, 74. 

6 Fortescue, " De Laudibus Legum Angliae, with the Summs of 
Sir Ralph de Hengham." Notes by Selden, 1741, p. 33, note. 
i Borough Customs (Selden Soc.), pp. 73, 74. 


In his " Description of England," forming part of 
Holinshed's Chronicle, Harrison tells of ways of 
execution in practice when he wrote, about 1580 : " He 
that poisoneth a man is to be boiled to death in water 
or lead, although the party die not of the practise." 
Harrison is here mistaken. The enactment of boiling 
to death was due to one malefactor, who achieved the 
rare distinction of having an Act of Parliament directed 
against himself. The Act, 22 Henry VIII. (1530-1) c. 9, 
tells the story. It begins by stating that the crime of 
poisoning has in this realm been most rare, and continues 
thus : 

" And now in the tyme of this presente parliament, that is to saye 
in the xviij th daye of Februarye in the xxij yere of his moste victorious 
reygn, one Richarde Roose late of Rouchester in the Countie of 
Kente coke, otherwyse called Richarde Coke, of his moste wyked and 
dampnable dysposicyon dyd caste a certeyne venym or poyson into 
a vessell replenysshed with yeste or barme stondyng in the Kechyn 
of the Reverende Father in God John Bysshopp of Rochester at his 
place in Lamehyth Marsshe, wyth whych Yeste or Barme and other 
thynges convenyent porrage or gruell was forthwyth made for his 
famylye there beyng, whereby nat only the nombre of xvij persons 
of his said famylie whych dyd eate of that porrage were mortally 
enfected and poysoned and one of them that is to say, Benett 
Curwen gentylman thereof ys decessed, but also certeyne pore 
people which resorted to the sayde Bysshops place and were there 
charytably fedde with the remayne of the saide porrage and other 
vytayles, were in lyke wyse infected, and one pore Woman of them 
that is to saye, Alyce Tryppytt wydowe is also thereof nowe 
blessed disposicion inwardly abhorryng all such abhomynable 
offences because that in no maner no persone can lyve in suretye 
out of daunger of death by that meane yf practyse thereof shulde 
not be exchued, hath ordeyned and enacted by auctorytie of thys 
presente parlyament that the sayde poysonyng be adjudged and 
demed as high treason, And that the sayde Richarde Roose for the 
sayd murder and poysonynge of the sayde two persons as is afore- 
sayde by auctorite of thys presente parlyament shall stande and be 
attaynted of highe treason : And by cause that detestable offence 
nowe newly practysed and commytted requyreth condigne 
punysshemente for the same : It is ordeyned and enacted by 
auctoritie of this presente parliament that the said Richard Roose 


shalbe therfore boyled to deathe withoute havynge any advauntage 
of his clargie." 

The Act goes on to declare that in future murder by 
poisoning shall be deemed to be high treason, punishable 
by boiling to death. 

This was the sequel : 

" 1531. The 5. of Aprill one Richard Rose a cooke, was boiled in 
Smithfielde, for poisoning of diuers persons, to the number of 16, or 
more, at y e bishop of Rochesters place, amongst the which Benet 
Curwine Gentleman was one, and hee intended to haue poisoned 
the Bishop himselfe but hee eate no pottage that day whereby hee 
escaped : marie the poore people that eate of them, many of them 
died " (Stow's Annals, ed. 1615, p. 559). 

Stow records another case in 1542, March 17, when 
Margaret Davy, a maid-servant, was boiled in Smithfield 
for poisoning three households in which she had lived. 1 

To continue with Harrison : If one " be conuicted of 
wilfull murther, doone either vpon pretended malice, 
or in anie notable robberie, he is either hanged aliue in 
chaines neere the plate where the fact was committed 
(or else vpon compassion taken first strangled with a 
rope) and so continueth till his bones consume to 

" Such as hauing wals and banks neere vnto the 
sea, and doo suffer the same to decaie (after conuenient 
admonition) whereby the water entereth and drowneth 
vp the countrie, are by a certeine custome apprehended, 
condemned, and staken in the breach, where they remaine 
for euer as parcell of the foundation of the new wall that 
is to be made vpon them, as I haue heard reported." 

1 The Act making poisoning high treason was repealed by 
i Edward VI., c. 12, sec. 12, which made poisoning wilful murder, 
to be punished as murder. Harrison was therefore mistaken in 
writing of the punishment as if it still existed. Curiously enough 
Bacon, on the trial of the Earl of Somerset, eulogised Henry's Act, 
without hinting at its repeal. 


This also is strange, showing that a machine practically 
identical with the guillotine was in use in England 
centuries before the re-invention of the machine by 
Dr. Guillotin : 

"There is and hath beene of ancient time a law or rather a 
custome in Halifax, that who soeuer dooth commit anie fellonie, and 
is taken with the same, or confesse the fact vpon examination : if it 
be valued by foure constables to amount to the sum of thirteene 
pence halfe penie, he is foorthwith beheaded upon one of the next 
market daies. . . . The engine wherewith the execution is doone, 
is a square block of wood of the length of foure f oote and an halfe, 
which dooth ride vp and downe in a slot, rabet, or regall betweene 
two peeces of timber, that are framed and set vpright of fiue yardes 
in height. In the neather end of the sliding blocke is an ax keied 
or fastened with an iron into the wood, which being drawne vp to 
the top of the frame is there fastned by a wooden pin (with a notch 
made into the same after the manner of a Samsons post) vnto the 
middest of which pin also there is a long rope fastened that 
commeth downe among the people, so that when the offender hath 
made his confession, and hath laid his necke ouer the neathermost 
blocke, euerie man there present dooth either take hold of the rope 
(or putteth foorth his arme so neere to the same as he can get, in 
token that he is willing to see true iustice executed) and pulling out 
the pin in this maner, the head blocke wherein the ax is fastened 
dooth fall downe with such a violence, that if the necke of the 
transgressor were so big as that of a bull, it should be cut in sunder 
at a stroke, and roll from the bodie by an huge distance. If it be so 
that the offender be apprehended for an ox, oxen, sheepe, kine, 
horsse, or anie such cattell : the selfe beast or other of the same 
kind shall haue the end of the rope tied somewhere vnto them, so 
that they being driuen doo draw out the pin wherby the offender 
is executed." x 

Harrison says that " we have vse neither of the wheele 

1 " The Christian Prudence of this Customary Law " is defended 
in a little work, " Hallifax and its Gibbet-Law Placed in a True 
Light," 1708, containing an illustration copied in Gough's edition of 
Camden's " Britannia," and in the enlarged " Magna Britannia," 
ed. 1731, vi. 384. In " Hallifax and its Gibbet-Law" it is stated, 
with every appearance of probability, that the custom goes back to a 
date before the Norman Conquest. It appears that the last persons 
executed were Abraham Wilkinson and Anthony Mitchell in 1650 
for stealing 9 yards of cloth and two colts, 


nor of the barre, as in other countries," and these 
punishments are not to be found in the chronicles. 

A favourite story of the Middle Ages is that of the 
unjust judge, Sisamnes, flayed alive by order of Cambyses. 
This punishment is one not likely to have been over- 
looked. In the " Laws of Henry I." (so called), we find 
scalping and flaying mentioned as punishments (comacio 
and excoriacio J ). It is certain that the punishment was 
not absent from men's minds. In 1176, the secretary of 
the young king was discovered to be in correspondence 
with Henry II. He was thought worthy of death ; some 
proposed that he should be hanged, others that he should 
be flayed alive (vivum excoriari 2 ). I have not found a 
written record of execution in England by flaying alive, 
but there exists singular and terrible indirect evidence of 
the infliction of the punishment in a very remarkable case. 

In 1303 was successfully carried out a burglary which 
after six centuries remains the greatest burglary on 
record, the amount involved being .100,000, equal to 
^2,000,000 in money of the present day. The palace 
of the king at Westminster was contiguous to the abbey. 
In the King's treasury were lodged at the time in question 
not only the regalia, but a large sum of money destined 
to the carrying on of the war in Scotland. Edward I. 
left Westminster on March I4th and travelled towards 
Scotland, reaching Newcastle on May 6th. Shortly 
before this date the treasury was broken into and its 
treasure carried off. The robbery being discovered, 
forty-one friars and thirty-four monks were committed 
to the Tower. The burglary had been skilfully planned. 
Early in the spring the cemetery the plot enclosed by 
the cloisters was sown with hemp, so that the hemp 
should grow high enough by the time fixed for the 
robbery to hide the treasure. Mr. Joseph Burtt, who 
has told the story at length, came to the conclusion that 

1 Thorpe, "Anc. Laws and Inst. of England," fo. ed., p. 252. 

2 Chron. Benedict of Peterborough, ed. Stubbs, i. 122-3. 


"the affair was evidently got up between William, the 
sacrist of Westminster, Richard de Podlicote, a merchant, 
and the keeper of the palace, with the aid of their 
immediate servants and friends." I 

Ten monks and one cleric were arraigned, but, refusing 
to be tried by secular judges, were remanded to the 
Tower. But the judges "condemned the sacrist of 
Westminster for receiving and concealing jewels of our 
lord the king." Strangely enough, there is no record 
of his sentence. 2 But certain doors giving access to the 
treasury were found to be covered, inside and outside, 
with skin. Sir Gilbert Scott submitted a piece to an 
eminent microscopist, Mr. Quekett, who pronounced 
it to be human skin. There has been vague talk of 
"the skins of Danes" in connection with the lining 
of these doors, but Dean Stanley, who says that the skin 
is that of " a fair-haired, ruddy-complexioned man," is of 
opinion that there is no period to which these fragments 
of skin can be so naturally referred as to that of the 
burglary .3 

Here is the record of a punishment, the only one of 
its kind I have found recorded : 

" 1222. A Prouinciall councell was holden at Oxforde, by Stephen 
Langton Archbyshoppe of Canterburie, and his suffragane bishops 
and others. . . . There was also a young man and two women 
brought before them, the yoong man would not come in any church, 
nor be partaker of the Sacraments, but had suffered himselfe to be 
crucified, in whom the scars of all y e wounds were to be scene, in 
his hands, head, side and feete, and he reioyced to bee called Jesus 
of these women and other. One of the women being olde, was ac- 
cused for bewitching the young man vnto such madnes, and also 
(altering her owne name) procured her selfe to bee called Mary the 
mother of Christ : They being conuict of these crimes and other, 
were adiudged to bee closed vp betweene two walles of stone, 

1 " Gleanings from Westminster Abbey " (Sir Gilbert Scott), 1863, 
pp. 282-90, where the original authorities are mentioned. 

2 Chrons. of the Reigns of Edward I. and Edward II., ed. Stubbs, 

i. I3 2 - 

" Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey," 1868, pp. 384-5. 


where they ended their Hues in misery. The other woman being 
sister to the young man, was let goe, because shee reuealed the 
wicked fact " (Stow, Annals, p. 178). 

There is another story, of about the same time, telling of 
a religious maniac, done to death in an abnormal way : 

" A man that f aynyd hym self e Cryste at Oxynf orde, he was 
cursyde at Aldermanbery at London, the yere of oure Lorde 

So we read in Gregory's Chronicle. In the Grey Friars' 
Chronicle we find this : 

" A man of Oxenford faynyd hym to be Cryst, and was crucified 
at Addurbury." 

This explains the meaning of " cursyde " in the other 
The Chronicle of London (1827) says : 

" A man of Alderbery feynd hym Cryst, whiche was brought to 
Oxon' and there he was crucifyed " (p. u). 

Capgrave, who wrote much later, but no doubt had 
before him some old writer, tells of a similar case of 
religious mania : 

" 1221. There was accused eke a carl that procured men to nayle 
him on a crosse : for in handis and feet were seyn the woundes of 
the nayles, and in his side a wound eke : and in his fonnednesse 
he wold sey that he was so arayed for savacion of the world. He 
was put in prison for evyr, and nevyr to have othir repast but bread 
and watir." 

It will be seen that these cases occurred about the same 
time. 1 Was there an epidemic of religious mania, or is 
it possible that the different records are all versions of 
the same story ? 

1 Chron. Walter of Coventry, ed. Stubbs, ii. 251-2 ; Gregory's 
Chron. (Camden Socy.), p. 63 ; Chron. Grey Friars, in Mon. 
Francisc., ed. Hewlett, ii. 146 ; Capgrave, ed. Hingeston, p. 151. 
Coggeshall, Chron. Angl., ed. Stevenson, p. n. 



THERE has been much confusion as to the punishment 
of "drawing," forming down to times comparatively 
recent a portion of the punishment awarded to those 
found guilty of high treason. The correct order of the 
several punishments in such cases is drawing, hanging, 
and quartering. But to-day every one inverts the order, 
putting hanging first. Even the old chroniclers some- 
times make this mistake. The proper order is inverted 
by Capgrave, the Grey Friars' Chronicler, and by Latimer 
in his third sermon. Owing to this mistake it has not 
infrequently been assumed that drawing was a process 
following hanging, and consisted in drawing out the 
bowels of the victim. In fact, drawing meant dragging 
along the ground. There were three kinds of drawing. 
In the vast majority of cases drawing means dragging to 
the place of execution, where hanging, disembowelling 
and quartering followed. But drawing sometimes means 
dragging till the sufferer died of the mere dragging. 
In some cases drawing means tugging by horses in 
opposite directions till the sufferer was torn to pieces. 
It is not in all cases easy to say what punishment is indi- 
cated by the chroniclers, who use indifferently the words 
" tractus," " detractus," and " distractus." * 

Examples of the first kind of drawing, dragging to the 
foot of the gallows, for execution, are superabundant. 

1 " Tractus " is the usual form ; for the other forms see, for ex- 
ample, Chron. Angliae, ed. Thompson, p. 2 ; Chron. Earth. Cotton, 
ed. Luard, pp. 132, 159, 164, 166. 


There were degrees in this. In the earliest times the 
victim, stripped to his shirt, with his arms tied behind his 
back, was thus dragged along the rough and miry road 
how rough and miry it is almost impossible for us at 
this day to realise. 1 That any human being could 
survive such a drawing from Newgate to Tyburn is mar- 
vellous. But the way was not uncommonly longer, from 
the Tower to Tyburn, or even longer still, from West- 
minster to the Tower, and then from the Tower to 
Tyburn. In the case of William Longbeard, 2 it would 
appear that sharp stones were placed on the road to be 
followed. But, apart from any such aggravation, the 
sufferer would probably in most cases be found at the 
end of the journey incapable of further suffering. 

In 1295 Tuberville was drawn on a fresh ox-hide (sur 
un quir de bof fres), and one of the chroniclers expressly 
states that he was so drawn that he might not die too 
quickly.s Something was also due to sentiments of 
humanity. There is a case recorded from which it is 
clear that " humanitarianism " was as odious to the 
judges of old time as it is to-day to the advocates of 
flogging. The case finds a record in the old books, 
because in it the judge evidently strained the law. A 
man was arraigned in 1340, before Justice Shard, on an 
indictment charging him with the murder of "his 
master." It was found that murder had indeed been 
done by the man, who, however, had for a year ceased to 
be the murdered man's servant. Shard inquired whether 
the servant had not a grudge against his master, and did 
he watch him ? The questions were answered affirma- 
tively, and Shard sentenced the man to death as guilty of 
petty treason the punishment due to a servant who 
killed his master. Shard ordered that the man should be 

1 See illustration in Annals, under year 1242. 
1 Annals, under year 1 196. 

3 " Et super corium bovinum tractus, ne concito moreretur " (An- 
nales de Vigornia, in Annales Monastici, ed. Luard, iv. 523). 


drawn by horses from the court in which he was tried, 
and forbade, under pain of imprisonment, that any friars 
or other persons should place a hurdle or anything else 
under him. 1 

Whether owing to compassion or to the ferocity of 
judges who had discovered that the drawing as at first 
practised rendered a victim insensible to the spectacle of 
the burning of his own bowels, it is certain that the ox- 
hide became an established institution, for in a case later 
than Turberville we hear of " the common ox-hide." 
This in its turn gave place to the hurdle, and this to the 
sledge no doubt to the infinite disgust of judges like 

The following is a case in which drawing was carried 
out till the death of the sufferers from mere dragging : 

There were frequent and bitter disputes between the citizens of 
Norwich and the prior. These disputes came to a head in 1271, 
when, in a quarrel at the gates of the priory, two citizens were 
killed. The townsmen flew to arms. The men of the priory re- 
treated within the walls and prepared for a siege. The citizens, 
unable to force the gates of the priory, tore down the doors of the 
church. The prior threatened excommunication : the citizens 
demanded redress for the killing of two of their number. Finally, 
the prior put in execution his threat of excommunication : the 
citizens retorted by seizing provisions on their way to the priory. 
The prior now disposed his men in the belfry, and fighting went on 
for some days. At last the citizens set fire to the belfry : the fire 
spread till almost all the conventual buildings were destroyed. The 
citizens rushed in, killing all, monks and laymen, they could find ; 
they destroyed everything on which they could lay hands. The 
bishop and other priests gathered together outside Norwich, 
excommunicated nine men by name, and all others who had taken 
part in the matter. The case was grave : the king came down, and 
spent twelve days in investigating the case, with the aid of his 

1 " Liber Assisarum, Le Livre des Assises et Pleas del' Corone," 
&c. Sir Robert Brook, 1679. This sentence contains the first 
mention of the hurdle in this connection. In the Popish Plot sen- 
tences " sledge " and " hurdle " are used indifferently as names for 
the same thing. 


justices, and forty knights as jurors. The finding was that the prior 
was the cause of the burning of the church, and the king therefore 
took the manors of the priory into his own hands. But a terrible 
penalty was exacted from the citizens, thirty-three of whom were 
put to death : some were hanged, some burnt, others were drawn 
by horses (equis distracti). What is meant in this case is revealed 
by one chronicler, who gives details of the drawing : " Attached to 
horses by the feet, they were dragged through the streets of the 
city till, after great suffering, they ended their lives and expired. 1 

The chroniclers record only, I think, one case in which 
it is made clear the victim was actually dragged to pieces, 
as we see in old pictures of the martyrdom of St. 
Hippolytus : 

"In 1238, King Henry III., being at Woodstock, a certain learned 
squire came to the court. He feigned madness, and demanded of 
the king that he should give up the crown. The king's attendants 
sought to drive him away, but the king forbade this. In the middle 
of the night the man came again, bearing an open knife. He made 
his way into the king's bed-chamber, but the king was not there, 
being with the queen. But one of the queen's maids, Margaret 
Bisseth, was awake, and, sitting by the light of a candle, sang 
psalms (for she was a holy maid, and one devoted to the service of 
God). Margaret gave the alarm, and the man was secured. He 
declared that he had been sent by William Marsh on purpose to 
kill the king. On learning this, the king ordered that, as one guilty 
of an attempt to kill the king's majesty, he should be torn by horses 
limb from limb, a terrible example, and a lamentable spectacle to 
all who should dare to plot such crimes. In the first place he was 
drawn asunder, then beheaded, and his body was divided into three 
parts, each of which was dragged through one of the greatest cities 
of England, and afterwards hung on the robbers' gibbet." 2 

We come now to the question of the punishment for 
high treason, regarded as the greatest of all crimes, one 
therefore to be punished with all possible severity. 
Treason was elaborately denned by 25 Edward III., 

1 Chronicles : Waverley, ed. Luard, ii. 378 ; Flores Hist. ed. 
Luard, iii. 24-6 ; Osney (in Annales Monastic!, ed. Luard, iv. 251 ; 
Cotton, ed. Luard, p. 148 ; an account unfavourable to the prior is 
found in Liber de Antiq. Leg., Riley's translation, pp. 150-3. 

* Matthew Paris, Chron. Majora, ed. Luard, iii. 497, 498. 


st. 5. c. 2, but the statute does not prescribe punishment 
for the offence. Treason seems to have been held to in- 
clude a number of distinct crimes, to each of which a 
distinct punishment was allotted. This is the sentence 
when it had been settled in a form which, with an altera- 
tion to be noted presently, endured for centuries : 

" i. That the aforesaid ... be drawn to the gallows of ... 

2. He is there to be hanged by the neck, and let down alive. 

3. His bowels are to be taken out, 

4. And, he being alive, to be burnt. 

5. His head is to be cut off. 

6. His body is to tie divided into four parts, 

7. And his head and quarters are to be placed where our lord 

the king shall direct." 

There is no doubt that, originally, the prisoner was 
drawn to the gallows immediately after trial, but later, the 
first clause was made to run that the prisoner should 
be taken from the court to the place whence he came 
(the prison), and from thence to the place of execution. 
The sentence is given in this later form by Sir William 
Stanford in his work, " Les Plees del Coron." 1560, 
fols. 182, i82b. 

It is difficult to say when the sentence, as given above, 
was first carried out. In relating the execution in 1283 
of David, Prince of Wales, the chroniclers give the 
several punishments in this order : drawing, hanging, 
beheading, disembowelling, quartering. 1 This is not quite 
conclusive, as will be seen by the next instance. 

1 Chrons. Osney, Worcester, in Annales Monas. ed. Luard, iv. 
294, 488. Between the executions for high treason of Prince David 
and Sir William Wallace, comes that, in 1295, of Sir Thomas de 
Turberville. His crime was undoubtedly high treason, but the 
punishment was abnormal ; he was drawn to the gallows, and there 
hanged, no doubt alive, by a chain of iron. See Annals, under the 
year. A passage in " Fleta," written about 1285, seems to indicate 
that at the time the character of the punishment was not rigorously 
fixed : " If he is found guilty, he shall undergo the last punishment 
(ultimum supplicium) with aggravation of the corporeal penalty" 
(book i., chap. xxi). 


In 1305 we come to the condemnation and execution 
of Sir William Wallace. The sentence, in a highly rhe- 
torical form, states the punishments in the order in which 
they are given in the case of Prince David, making 
beheading precede disembowelling. But accounts of 
the execution given by chroniclers leave no doubt that 
the punishments followed in what became the usual 
order, namely, that Wallace, being let down alive, was 
first disembowelled, beheading following, not preceding 
this. 1 It may well be, therefore, that in the execution of 
David the order of punishments, as carried out, differed 
from their order in the sentence. But we have no 
evidence of this. Going on the evidence, we may say 
that in the case of Wallace we have the first recorded 
instance in which what became the usual punishment for 
treason was carried out. 

It will be observed that the execution of Wallace 
(see footnote), included ementulation (abscisis geni- 
talibus) which was not prescribed by the sentence. There 
is a mystery about this clause. It does not appear in the 
form of sentence as given by Coke in his " Institutes," 
yet in passing sentence in 1615 on John Owen, alias 
Collins, he expressly includes ementulation, and gives 
elaborate reasons why this should form part of the 
sentence. Again, taking a group of sentences passed in 
connection with the Popish Plot, we find that ementula- 
tion forms part of the sentence in the cases of Ireland, 
Pickering, and Grove, the " Five Jesuits" and Langhorn, 

1 " Primo per plateas Londoniae ad caudas equinas tractus usque ad 
patibulum altissimum sibi fabricatum, quo laqueo suspensus, postea 
semivivus dimissus, deinde abscisis genitalibus et evisceratis 
intestinis ac in ignem crematis, demum absciso capite ac trunco in 
quatuor partes secto, caput palo super pontem Londonise affigitur ; 
quadrifida vero membra ad partes Scotiae sunt transmissa " (" Flores 
Hist.," ed. Luard, iii. 124). 

Another chronicler expressly states " ultimo decollatur," and a 
third, " demum decollatus est." Walsingham, Ypodigma, ed. Riley, 
p. 235 ; Chron. Rishanger, ed. Riley, pp. 225, 226. 


Lord Stafford, Lionel Anderson and others tried with 
him. It is not found in the sentences passed on Stayley, 
Coleman, Fitzharris, and Plunket. The law books throw 
no light on the point ; one only mentions the difference 
without attempting to explain it. 1 

It would seem that a Scot was the first on whom 
this horrible series of punishments is recorded to 
have been inflicted. Scots were the last to suffer 
the penalties of high treason, inflicted in their greatest 
rigour : these were the men condemned for the Rebellion 
of 1745. 

In July, 1746, seventeen were sentenced according to 
the usual form : of these, eight were reprieved, the other 
nine being executed on Kennington Common on July 
3oth. One of these was Townley : 

" After he had hung six minutes, he was cut down, and, having life 
in him, as he lay upon the block to be quartered, the executioner 
gave him several blows on his breast, which not having the effect 
designed, he immediately cut his throat : after which he took his 
head off : then ripped him open, and took out his bowels and heart, 
and threw them into a fire which consumed them : then he slashed 
his four quarters, and put them with the head into a coffin, and they 
were carried to the new gaol in Southwark, where they were de- 
posited till Saturday, August 2, when his head was put on Temple 
Bar, and his body and limbs suffered to be buried." a 

The last exhibition of this kind was in 1820, when 
Thistlewood and four others, some of them victims of a 

1 Hawkins (William), " A Treatise of the Pleas of the Crown," 
1771, c. 48, p. 443. See for details, Sir William Stanford, "Les 
Plees del Coron.," 1560, fol. 182, i82b. Sir Matthew Hale, " Hist. 
Placit. Coronae," i. 350-1. " Les Reports de Henry Rolle," 1675, 
i. 185-7, containing a good example of law- French of the time 
of James I., the most exquisite jargon ever invented by man. 
Coke, " Institutes," part iii., 1644, p. 210, where Coke gives scriptural 
authority for all the horrors of the sentence. In passing sentence on 
the Gunpowder Plot men Coke gave an elaborate justification of 
each part of the sentence ("State Trials," ii. 184). 

' " State Trials," xviii. 350-1. 



plot fostered by the Government, were hanged outside 
Newgate, their heads being afterwards publicly cut off by 
a masked man suspected to be a surgeon. The bodies 
were not quartered. The thing had by this time de- 
generated into a brutal and bloody farce. 



SIR THOMAS SMITH (1513-77), Secretary of State to 
Elizabeth, wrote "a book, " De Republica Anglorum," not 
published till 1583. In it the author says : " Torment 
or question, which is vsed by the order of the ciuill lawe 
and custome of other countries, to put a malefactor to 
excessiue paine, to make him confesse of him selfe, or of 
his fellowes or complices, is not vsed in England, it is 
taken for seruile. . . . The nature of our nation is free, 
stout, haulte, prodigall of life and bloud : but contumelie, 
beatings, seruitude, and seruile torment and punishment 
it will not abide." 

The statement that torture was not used in England is 
amazing, as it is beyond doubt that Smith himself racked 
prisoners in 1571. J It is, however, true that he expressed 
extreme reluctance to be put on such work. Hallam is 
undoubtedly correct in saying that " the rack seldom 
stood idle in the Tower for all the latter part of 
Elizabeth's reign." 2 Indeed, there is a tract, attributed 
to Lord Burghley, defending the manner in which torture 
had been applied to prisoners. 3 It was published about 

1 Ellis, " Original Letters," ist series, ii. 261. 

a " Constitut. Hist," ed. 1854, i. 148. 

3 " A Declaration of the favourable Dealing of her Majesties Com- 
missioners appointed for the Examination of certaine Traytours, and 
of Tortures unjustly reported to be done upon them for Matters of 
Religion, 1583." Reprinted in " Harleian Miscellanies," iii. 565-8, 
and in " Somers's Tracts," i. 209-12. In the latter the tract is 
ascribed to Burghley. I think that the only non-official defence of 


the same time as Sir Thomas Smith's book. But 
torture, frequently as it was practised, never had the 
sanction of the law of England. Coke, in the Third 
Part of his " Institutes," written in 1628 (first published 
in 1644), declares : " There is no one opinion in our 
books, or judiciall Record (that we have seen or remember) 
for the maintenance of tortures or torments." "So as 
there is no law to warrant tortures in this land, nor can 
they be justified by any prescription, being so lately 
brought in." 

It would be idle to speculate as to the amount of 
alleviation the reflection that torture was illegal may have 
brought to Southwell, for instance, who was racked ten 
several times. 

A kind of torture, not however applied for the purpose 
of extracting confessions, was recognised by the law. 
This was the Peine Forte et Dure, "one of the most 
singular circumstances," writes Sir James Fitzjames 
Stephen, " in the whole of the criminal law." It cer- 
tainly is this : it is moreover, a practice as to which even 
writers on our criminal law have gone astray, not except- 
ing Sir James himself. % 

It is a most remarkable example of judge-made law ; 
the successive stages of its growth can in some measure 
be traced. Its very name betrays the change made in the 

torture published in England is contained in a pamphlet published 
in 1656, under the Commonwealth, by Sir R. Wiseman (the title 
belongs to the Restoration). He writes : " So that to bring men to 
the rack in such cases [where there was only one witness] for trials 
sake is not to be censured for cruelty. . . . This rigour of the Law (if 
it be any) is recompensed with advantage to the whole Common- 
wealth ; for by the terror hereof it is free from the machinations of 
wicked and lewd men." ("The Law of Laws," 1656.) It was 
written when Cromwell's power and life were the object of numerous 
plots, but there is nothing in the book to connect this defence of 
torture with current affairs. The last recorded case of torture in 
England, and the last that a careful inquirer could discover, was on 
May 21, 1640, Jardine, David, "A Reading on the Use of Torture in 
England," 1837, pp. 57, 58, 108, 109. 


punishment, as it is agreed that peine forte et dure 
was originally " prison forte et dure." The statutory 
basis of the punishment is found in an Act, 3 Edward I. 
(1275), c. 12: 

" It is provided also, That notorious Felons, which openly be of evil 
name, and will not put themselves in Enquests of Felonies that Men 
shall charge them with before the Justices at the King's suit, shall 
have strong and hard Imprisonment (prison forte et dure), as they 
which refuse to stand to the common Law of the Land : But this 
is not to be understood of such prisoners as be taken of light 

Britton, supposed to have written about sixteen years 
later than the statute, in 1291 or 1292, thus states the 
punishment : 

" And if they will not put themselves upon their acquittal, let them 
be put to their penance until they pray to do it : and let their 
penance be this, that they be barefooted, ungirt and bareheaded, in 
the worst place in the prison, upon the bare ground continually, 
night and day ; that they eat only bread made of barley or bran, 
and that they drink not the day they eat, nor eat the day they drink, 
nor drink anything but water, and that they be put in irons." * 

" Fleta," written about the same time, contains similar 
details, expressly stating that the punishment is to con- 
tinue till those who refuse the law "seek what they before 
contemned." 2 

An actual case, not mentioned in the law books, is 
recorded in the Chronicle of Bartholomew Cotton. 
In 1293, for the murder of some Dutch sailors at 
Sniterleye, thirteen persons were hanged, and the bailiff 
of the hundred, because he would not put himself upon 
the inquest (se supponere inquisitioni), was sentenced to 
prison in this form, viz., that on the day when he ate he 
should not drink, and the bread which he had should be 
the worst bread, and the drink that he should have should 

1 Ed. Oxford, 1865, i. 26-7. " Book i. c. 34, 33. 


be putrid water, and that he should remain naked except 
for a linen garment, and upon the naked ground, and 
that he should be loaded with iron from the hands to the 
elbows, and from the feet to the knees, until he should 
make his submission. 1 

That the "penance" was intended not to kill, but to 
induce the prisoner to plead, is shown by cases in the 
Year Book of Edward I. In 1302 one condemned to 
"the great penance" brought his charter of pardon 
into court, by means of his friends, ten days after the 
judgment. 2 In 1357 Cecilia, wife of John de Rygeway, 
indicted for the murder of her husband, stood mute, and 
was sentenced to imprisonment accordingly. In this 
case it was reported to the king " on trustworthy testi- 
mony" that Cecilia had lived without food or drink 
for forty days. This was regarded as miraculous, and 
Cecilia was in consequence pardoned. Here, in inten- 
tion at least, the punishment went to the length of 
depriving of all food.3 

In a case recorded in the Year Book of Henry IV. 
(1406) the court ordered that, in addition to the punish- 
ment of being fed on the worst bread and stagnant water, 
two thieves condemned to penance for standing mute 
should have put upon them as great a weight as they 
could bear and more, and should so remain till they 
were dead. But as Chief Justice Gascoigne, who passed 
the sentence, afterwards said that the prisoners might 
live for many years, the words "more than they can 
bear" cannot be supposed to mean that the prisoners 
were to be pressed to death.4 

The punishment reached its most terrible form in 
the reign of Elizabeth. Harrison, in his " Description 
of England," says : 

1 Chron. Earth. Cotton, ed. Luard, p. 228. 

3 Chron. Year Books of Edward I., years 30-31, p. 499. 

3 Rymer, " Foedera," vi. 13. 

4 Year Book, 8 Henry IV., Michaelmas term. 


" Such f ellons as stand mute and speake not at their arraignement 
are pressed to death by huge weights laid vpon a boord, that lieth 
ouer their brest, and a sharpe stone vnder their backs, and these 
commonlie hold their peace, thereby to saue their goods vnto their 
wiues and children, which if they were condemned should be 
confiscated to the prince." l 

Here is another addition, the sharp stone under the back. 

Harrison's account is confirmed by two recorded 
cases. In 1586 Margaret Clitherow was indicted at 
York for harbouring or relieving priests, a capital 
offence. Refusing to plead, she was condemned by 
the judge to the peine forte et dure, "so to continue 
for three days," without food or drink except barley 
bread and puddle water, "and a sharp stone under 
your back." The execution of the sentence is thus 
described : Her hands and feet were tied to posts so 
that her body and arms made a cross. A door was laid 
upon her. " After this they laid weight upon her, which 
when she first felt, she said ' Jesu ! Jesu ! Jesu ! have 
mercy upon me ! ' which were the last words she was 
heard to speak. She was in dying one quarter of an 
hour. A sharp stone, as much as a man's fist, put under 
her back : upon her was laid to the quantity of seven 
or eight hundredweight at the least, which, breaking her 
ribs, caused them to burst forth of the skin." 2 

The other case is that of Major Strangewayes, indicted 
at the Old Bailey on February 24, 1658-9, for the murder 
of his brother-in-law. He refused to plead, and was 
sentenced to the peine forte et dure in the usual terms. 
The press employed on this occasion was triangular in 
form, the acute angle resting above the region of the 
heart. " He was prohibited that usuall Favour in that 
kind, to have a sharp piece of Timber layed under his 

1 Holinshed, i. 185. 

2 Mr. John Mush's Life of Margaret Clitherow, in " The Troubles 
of Our Catholic Forefathers," by Father John Morris, 3rd series, 
I 8 77 P- 432. 


Back to Accellerate its penetration." The assistants 
"laid on at first Weight, which finding too light for 
a sudden Execution, many of those standing by, added 
their Burthens to disburthen him of his pain. ... In the 
space of eight or ten Minutes at the most, his unfettered 
Soul left her tortur'd Mansion. And he from that violent 
Paroxisme falls into the quiet sleep of Death." * 

From these two narratives and Harrison's statement, 
in agreement with them, it is clear that the punishment 
of peine forte et dure, originally severe imprisonment, 
inflicted to induce a prisoner to plead, had in the hands 
of the judges become a sentence of death far more 
painful than hanging, so that one standing mute was 
more severely punished than if he had been found 
guilty of the crime for which he was indicted. The 
clauses of the sentence show a disordered growth in 
this severity. If a man was to have laid upon him as 
great a weight as he could bear "and more," it was 
superfluous to make provision in the sentence for feeding 
on alternate days a person who was destined to be 
pressed to death in a few minutes. Sir William Staun- 
forde, or Stanford, indeed, whose book, " Les Plees del 
Coron," was published in 1560, expressly contends that 
the punishment was to continue, not until the prisoner 
would plead, but till he was dead. 

It appears from the cases recorded and from the 
passage quoted from Harrison, that standing mute was 
a practice not uncommon. What was the motive for 
refusing to plead ? It is here that those who have 
written on the subject have been mistaken. It has 
been generally assumed that the object was to save the 
forfeiture of goods which would have followed on a 
condemnation. This is incorrect. It is true that by 
standing mute the accused could escape corruption of 
blood and forfeiture of lands, but he did not thus avert 

1 " The Unhappy Marksman," in Thomasson Tracts, Brit. Mus. 
(E. 972), reprinted in " Harleian Mis.," vol. iv. 


forfeiture of goods and chattels. Sir William Stanford 
says, after citing a sentence, " Observe that the judge does 
not say, as Britton formerly said, that the punishment 
should continue till the prisoner makes a direct answer, 
but that this shall be his diet till he is dead, absolutely, 
without any condition in the sentence, express or im- 
plied, that he shall be released from penance if he 
consents to plead. For such a release has never at 
any time been seen, nor is it reasonable that by such 
repentance the king should be deprived of the forfeiture 
of the felon's goods, to which he is entitled by the said 
judgment of peuie forte et dure." * When, in 1721, 
Phillips and Spiggott stood mute, the court gave orders 
that the sentence on such as refuse to plead should be 
read to them. It concludes, "And he against whom 
the judgment shall be given forfeits his goods to the 

Where the accused was not possessed of land, the 
practice can be explained by either of two supposi- 
tions : either the prisoner refused to recognise the 
authority of the tribunal, or he desired to save his 
family from the reproach of a public execution of one 
of its members. This was the reason alleged to the 
ordinary of Newgate by Spiggott. A few years earlier, 
in 1721, Nathaniel Hawes, a highwayman, refused to 
plead because a handsome suit of clothes had been taken 
from him, and he was resolved not to go to the gallows 
in a shabby suit. He gave in when he had borne a 
weight of 250 Ibs. for about seven minutes. 2 

1 " Et sic nota que il ne dit coe Britton ad dit deuant, s. que ceo 
serra son diet taque il voet doner direct respons, mes que ceo serra 
son diet tanqz il soit mort absolutement : sans ascun condition en 
le iudgement expresse ou implie, s. que a tel teps que il voile 
responder, il serra release de son penance. Car tiel releas nad 
estre view a nul teps. & ne serroit reason que per tiel repentance : 
le roy serroit tolle del forfaiture de les biens le felon, a quel il est 
intitle per le dit iugemt du pain fort et dure " (Fols. iSob, 151). 

2 See Annals, 1721, February 8th and December 22nd. 



Of i" 


Spiggott, as has been said, bore 350 Ibs. for half an 
hour, and gave way when a further weight of 50 Ibs. 
was put upon him. These cases show that the judges 
had reverted to the old view that the punishment was 
inflicted for the purpose of inducing the prisoner to 

Another milder form of torture was practised in con- 
nection with the peine forte et dure. It is first revealed 
in the report of a case which was tried at the Newgate 
Sessions in 1663 : 

"At the same Sessions, George Thorely, being indicted for 
Robbery, refused to plead, and his two Thumbs were tyed 
together with Whipcord, that the pain of that might compel 
him to Plead, and he was sent away so tyed, and a Minister 
perswaded to go to him to perswade him : And an Hour after 
he was brought again and pleaded. And this was said to be the 
constant practice at Newgate." * 

There was no legal authority whatsoever for this punish- 

By 12 George III. (1772), c. 20, it was enacted that 
persons thereafter arraigned for felony or piracy, standing 
mute, should be convicted of the crime charged against 
them. Such a case occurred in 1777. 

Francis Mercier was arraigned at the Old Bailey 
sessions, beginning on December 3, 1777, for the 
murder of David Samuel Moudrey. He stood mute. 
A jury was immediately impannelled by the sheriff to 
inquire whether he stood mute fraudulently, wilfully, 
and obstinately, or by the providence and act of God. 
This jury found that he stood mute fraudulently, upon 
which Mr. Justice Aston (in the absence of the Recorder) 
at once passed sentence upon him that he should be 
executed and his body be afterwards dissected and 
anatomised. He was hanged at the end of Princes 

1 A Report of Divers Cases, &c., collected by Sir John Kelyng 
Knight, ed. 1708, p. 27. 


Street, Swallow Street (now Princes Street, Hanover 

By 7 and 8 George IV. (1827), c. 28, it was enacted 
that if a prisoner refused to plead, the court might order 
a plea of " Not Guilty " to be entered. 

It had taken five and a half centuries to discover this 
simple solution of the difficulty. 



SOMETHING must be said about that useful public 
servant, the executioner. Selected by the State to carry 
out its decrees, it would seem that he should have been 
invested with a dignity but little inferior to that of the 
judges who pronounced the sentence carried out by him 
in co-partnership. Without the practical assistance of 
the executioner, the solemn sentence of the robed, 
ermined, and full-bottom-wigged judge would be of 
no effect. Nevertheless, this officer of the State, prac- 
tically inculcating on the scaffold the great truths of 
morality impressed on the public from the bench, this 
great public officer has never received the homage due 
to him. In France the executioner is or was "the 
executor of high works," with us he has always been 
merely " the common hangman." Of the many instances 
of public ingratitude, this is perhaps the most scandalous. 
Nor have posthumous honours in the smallest degree 
compensated for want of respect during life. The 
statues of London are, with few exceptions, and these 
recent, almost wholly devoted to royal personages, to 
soldiers, and to ground landlords. Among them we seek 
in vain monuments to the executive officer, without 
whose aid law and order would have been mere empty 
names. That great work, the Dictionary of National 
Biography, has done something to redeem this neglect 
by recording such rare facts as may be discovered in the 
biographies of hangmen. For this we may be grateful : 
it is at least a beginning. 


Cunningham, in his " Handbook of London," a com- 
pilation displaying marvellous industry, says that " the 
earliest hangman whose name is known was called 
Derrick." This is a mistake. There are two, or perhaps 
three, predecessors whose names have been recorded. 
Of these predecessors of Derrick, the first is Cratwell, 
whose execution was witnessed by the chronicler Hall 
in 1538. Then comes an officer whose name a careless 
country has omitted to preserve, " the hangman with the 
stump-leg," who, alas ! was also hanged, reaching this end 
to his career in I556. 1 A third possible predecessor of 
Derrick is known" only by name. At the trial of Garnet, 
in 1606, the Earl of Northampton made a speech of 
which he thought so highly that he afterwards amplified 
and enlarged it for publication. Here is a specimen 
of what he would have liked to say had he been 
permitted : 

" The bulls which by the practice of you and your Catiline, the 
lively image of your heart, should by loud lowing, have called all 
his calves together with a preparation to band against our sovereign, 
at the first break of day, and to have cropped those sweet olive- 
buds that environ the regal seat, did more good than hurt, as it 
happened, by calling in a third bull, which was Bull the hangman, 
to make a speedy riddance and dispatch of this forlorn fellowship." 2 

Bull is also mentioned in " Tarlton's Jests." 
Either before or after Bull came Derrick, hangman in 
the reign of James I. He is mentioned in Dekker's 
" Bellman of London," 1608, and was famous ; for half a 
century later his name was a term of abuse.s It is said 
that in some way, not clear, he gave his name to the 
form of crane known as a derrick. 

According to the Dictionary of National Biography, 
Derrick was succeeded by Gregory Brandon. When 

1 See in Annals, under 1538, July, and 1556, July 2nd. 

2 " State Trials," ii. 335. 

3 Blount, " Glossogr.," 1656: "Deric . . . is with us abusively used 
fora Hang- man." 


Cunningham wrote there was a tradition that Brandon 
was of good family, and had a grant of arms. But it has 
since been found that the story had no better foundation 
than a practical joke : 

January, 1617. " York Herald played a trick on Garter King-at- 
Arms, by sending him a coat of arms drawn up for Gregory 
Brandon, said to be a merchant of London, and well-descended, 
which Garter subscribed, and then found that Brandon was the 
hangman ; Garter and York are both imprisoned, one for foolery, 
the other for knavery." r 

Gregory was succeeded by his son Richard, famous as 
the executioner of Charles I. 

After him came Lowen, an obscure hangman, known 
only by mention in the account of an execution. 2 

Later came Edward Dun, known as " Esquire Dun," 
mentioned in Butler's " Hudibras " (pt. iii. c. ii. 1. 1534). 
He was followed by the most famous of all the hangmen 
of Tyburn, Jack Ketch, hangman from about 1663 to 1686. 
In January of this year he was for a time superseded by 
Pascha Rose, a butcher, who was hanged at Tyburn, 
on May 28th, when Ketch resumed office. Ketch is 
twice mentioned in Dryden, in the epilogue to the Duke 
of Guise : 

" Jack Ketch, says I's, an excellent physician," 
and again in " The Original and Progress of Satire " : 

" A man may be capable, as Jack Ketch's wife said of his servant, 
of a plain piece of work, a bare hanging : but to make a malefactor 
die sweetly, was only belonging to her husband." 

Dr. Murray's Dictionary attributes something of Ketch's 
fame to his introduction into the " puppet-play of 
Punchinello introduced from Italy shortly after his 

1 George Lord Carew, to Sir Thomas Roe, in " Cal. of State 
Papers," Domestic series, 1611-8, p. 428. 

2 See in Annals, under 1649. 


death " : but Cunningham quotes from the Overseers' 
Books of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields entries of sums 
" received of Punchinello the Italian popet player, for his 
Booth at Charing-cross," in March, 1666. But some- 
thing of his notoriety was due to his bungling in the 
executions of Lord Russell in 1683, and of the Duke of 
Monmouth in 1685. As to Lord Russell, " Ketch the exe- 
cutioner severed his head from his body at three strokes, 
very barbarously." * It was worse with Monmouth : 

" He sayd to the executioner, ' Here are six guinies for you. 
Pray doe your business well : don't serue me as you did my Lord 
Russell. I haue heard you strooke him three or fower tymes. 
Here (to his seruant), take these remaininge guinies, and giue 
them to him if he does his worke well.' And to the executioner 
he sayd, ' If you strike me twice I cannot promise you not to stirr.' 
Then he lay downe, and soone after raised himself e vpon his elbowe, 
and sayd to the executioner, ' Prithee, let me feele the ax.' He felt 
the edge, and sayd, ' I feare it is not sharpe enough.' Then he lay 
downe, the Diuines prayinge earnestly for the acceptance of his 
repentance, his imperfect repentance, and commended to God his 
soule and spirit. Soe the executioner did his work : but I heare he 
had fiue blowes. Soe he died." 3 

As recorded in the Annals, John Price, the Tyburn 
hangman, was executed in Bunhill-Fields for murder 
in 1718. 

In August, 1721, John Meff was executed at Tyburn. 
At a previous date, not mentioned, he had been con- 
demned to death for housebreaking, but, as he was 
going to Tyburn, the hangman, bearing the generic 
name of " Jack Ketch," was arrested. What became of 
him is not told, but he probably come to a bad end. 

In May, 1736, " Jack Ketch," on his return from doing 
his office at Tyburn, robbed a woman of 35. 6d., for 
which he was committed to Newgate. History is silent 
as to his fate. 

In 1750, the hangman, John Thrift, was condemned 

1 Luttrell, i. 271. 

" Autobiography of Sir John Bramston " (Camden Society), p. 192. 


for killing a man in a quarrel. His sentence was 
commuted to one of transportation for fourteen years. 
He was finally pardoned, and in September "resumed the 
exercise of his office." " ' Old England/ September 22, 
hints, that having become obnoxious to the Jacobites, 
for his celebrated operations on Tower-Hill and Ken- 
nington-Common, he was pardoned in terrorem, and 
to mortify them." 1 

In 1780, Edward Dennis, the hangman, was condemned 
for taking part in the No Popery riots. He was respited. 
Dickens has introduced Dennis as a personage in his 
story of " Barnaby Rudge." 

It will be seen that out of the few hangmen of Tyburn 
whose names have come down to us, several ended their 
useful lives on the gallows, having failed to profit per- 
sonally by the lessons they were employed by the State 
to teach. 

There was a strange superstition connected with the 
gallows : what it was will be understood from the 
following : 

A man having been hanged at Tyburn, on May 4, 1767, " a 
young woman, with a wen upon her neck, was lifted up while he 
was hanging, and had the wen rubbed with the dead man's hand, 
from a superstitious notion that it would effect a cure." 

This case is not the only one of its kind on record. 2 

Tyburn is responsible for a few slang expressions. 
"A Tyburn ticket" was a certificate exempting from 
parish duties the successful prosecutor of a malefactor. 
"A Tyburn blossom" was a young pickpocket. "A 
Tyburn check" was a rope. "A Tyburn tippet" was 
a halter. Latimer did not disdain to use this word in 
his great sermons. 

The gallows was known as " Deadly Never-green," 
the " Three-legged Mare," the " Three-legged Stool." 

1 Gentleman's Magazine, 1750, pp. 233, 425. 
3 Ibid., 1767, p. 276. 



WHAT became of the bodies of those done to death at 
Tyburn ? Some were quartered, parboiled, and stuck up 
on the gates of the city or elsewhere, as the king might 
direct. These would- be but few out of the great total. 
For two centuries there was regular provision for the 
decent burial of executed persons, in the circumstances 
mentioned by Stow. 

Stow tells how, in 1348, Ralph Stratford, Bishop of 
London, bought a piece of ground, called " No Man's 
Land," which he enclosed with a wall of brick, and 
dedicated for burial of the dead : this was Pardon 
churchyard. In the following year Sir Walter Manny 
bought thirteen acres of land adjoining, and here were 
buried more than fifty thousand persons who died of the 
frightful pestilence then raging, known as the Black 
Death. In 1371 Sir Walter founded here the Charter- 
house, giving to the monastery the thirteen acres, and 
also the three acres adjoining, which "remained till our 
time by the name of Pardon churchyard, and served for 
burying of such as desperately ended their lives, or were 
executed for felonies, who were fetched thither usually in 
a close cart, bailed over and covered with black, having a 
plain white cross thwarting, and at the fore end a St. 
John's cross without, and within a bell ringing by 
shaking of the cart, whereby the same might be heard 
when it passed : and this was called the friary cart, which 
belonged to St. John's, and had the privilege of 
sanctuary." * 

1 Stow's " Survey," ed. Thorns, p. 161. 



" It remained till our time," says Stow, and this is one 
of those passages telling what Stow had seen passages 
that give so vivid an interest to his story of London. 

In the Grey Friars' Chronicle we find an instance of 
the burial in Pardon churchyard of persons executed at 
Tyburn : 

" 1537. Also this yere the xxv day of Marche the Lyncolnechere 
men that was with bishoppe Makerelle was browte owte of Newgate 
vn-to the yelde-halle [Guildhall] in roppys, and there had their jug- 
ment to be drawne, hongyd, and heddyd, and qwarterd, and soo was 
the xxix of Marche after, the wyche was on Maundy Thursdaye, and 
alle their qwarteres with their heddes was burryd at Pardone churche- 
yerde in the frary." * 

From Stow's account of the execution, quoted in the 
Annals, we learn that the number of Lincolnshire men 
executed on this occasion was twelve. 

The priory of St. John's was dissolved in 1540, and 
with it went the friary cart. 

After this, and also before the suppression of the friary 
cart, bodies were brought back by friends for interment 
in the parish churchyard. Here is a case in which a 
body so brought back was refused burial : 

One Awfield had been condemned and executed at 
Tyburn for " sparcing abrood certen lewed, sedicious, 
and traytorous bookes. His body was brought into 
St. Pulchers to be buryed, but the parishioners would not 
suffer a Traytor's corpes to be layed in the earthe where 
theire parents, wyeffs, chyldren, kynred, maisters, and 
old neighbors did rest : and so his carcase was retourned 
to the buryall grounde neere Tyborne, and there I 
leave yt." 2 

But many of the poor wretches hanged had no friends 
who would be at the charge of interment. The demands 
of the surgeons would be soon satisfied ; with how little 
ceremony the residue would be treated we may learn 

1 Grey Friars' Chron., ed. Hewlett, pp. 199, 200. 

2 Ellis, " Original Letters," 1824, ii. 298. 


from the narrative of Richardson, given in the Annals 

We read of two priests and sixteen felons executed at 
the same time, in 1610, being all thrown together into a 
pit. The stories of bones found in the neighbourhood 
of the gallows may probably be referred to forgotten 
burial places or to pits into which, after a busy day's 
work, a score of bodies would be tumbled. 1 

Strype, in his edition of Stow's " Survey," has a weird 
story of the finding of four embalmed heads in Black- 
friars, in clearing away rubbish after the Great Fire of 
1666 : 

" They came to an old Wall in a Cellar, of great thickness, where 
appeared a kind of Cupboard. Which being opened, there were 
found in it four Pots or Cases of fine Pewter, thick, with Covers of 
the same, and Rings fastened on the top to take up or put down at 
pleasure. The Cases were flat before, and rounding behind. And 
in each of them were reposited four humane Heads [he means one 
in each case ; the margin has " Four Heads "], unconsumed, reserved 
as it seems, by Art ; with their Teeth and Hair, the Flesh of a tawny 
Colour, wrap'd up in black Silk, almost consumed. And a certain 
Substance, of a blackish Colour, crumbled into Dust, lying at the 
bottom of the Pots. 

"One of these Pots, with the Head in it, I saw in October, 1703, 
being in the Custody of Mr. Presbury, then Sope-maker in Smith- 
field. Which Pot had inscribed in the inside of the Cover, in a 
scrawling Character (which might be used in the times of Henry 
VIII) J. CORNELIUS. This Head was without any Neck, having 
short red Hair upon it, thick, and that would not be pulled off ; and 
yellow Hair upon the Temples ; a little bald on the top (perhaps a 
Tonsure) the forepart of the Nose sunk, the Mouth gaping, ten sound 
Teeth, others had been plucked out ; the skin like tanned Leather, 
the Features of the Face visible. There was one Body found near it 
buried, and without an Head ; but no other Bodies found. The 
other three Heads had some of the Necks joined to them, and had a 
broader and plainer Razure : which shewed them Priests. These 
three Heads are now dispersed. One was given to an Apothecary ; 
Another was intrusted with the Parish Clerk ; who it is thought 
got Money by shewing of it. It is probable they were at last 

Challoner's " Memoirs of Missionary Priests," 1842, pt. ii. p. 37. 


privately procured, and conveyed abroad ; and now become Holy 

" Who these were, there is no Record, as I know of ; nor had any 
of them Names inscribed but one. To me they seem to have been 
some zealous Priests or Friers, executed for Treason ; whereof there 
were many in the Rebellion in Lincolnshire, An. 1538, or for denying 
the King's Supremacy, And here privately deposited by these Black 
Friers " (book iii. p. 191). 

Through the later researches of Dr. Challoner, we now 
know the story relating to one of these heads. John 
Cornelius, or Mohun, was born of Irish parents in 
Bodmin. He studied at Oxford, but not adopting the 
new religion, went afterwards to Rheims, and later to 
Rome. He was sent upon the English mission, in which 
he laboured for about ten years. He was apprehended 
in April, 1594, in the house of the widow of Sir John 
Arundel, on the information of a servant of the house. 
Mr. Bosgrave, a kinsman of Sir John Arundel, seeing 
him hurried away without a hat, put his own hat on 
the priest's head ; for this he was arrested. Two servants 
of the family, Terence Carey and Patrick Salmon, were 
also arrested. Cornelius was sent to London, and there 
racked to make him give up the names of Catholics who 
had harboured him. Refusing to make any discovery, 
he was sent back into the country, tried, and, with his 
three companions, executed at Dorchester on July 2, 
1594. The three were simply hanged : Cornelius, as 
guilty of high treason, was drawn, hanged, and quartered. 
His head was nailed to the gallows, but afterwards re- 
moved at the instance of the town. His quarters were 
buried together with the bodies of his companions. Dr. 
Challoner does not tell how the head of Cornelius was 
recovered by friends, nor does he say anything more of 
the others. It is probable that the three other heads 
of Strype's account were those of the companions of 
Cornelius (" Memoirs of Missionary Priests," part i., 
pp. 157-60). 


The Times of May 9, 1860, contained a letter from 
Mr. A. J. Beresford Hope, living in the house at the 
south-west corner of Edgware Road, stating that in 
the course of excavations made close to the foot- 
pavement along the garden of his house, "numerous 
human bones " were discovered. He says : " These are 
obviously the relics of the unhappy persons buried under 
the gallows." If this was so, they must have been the 
bones of Cromwell, Ireton, or Bradshaw, buried under 
the gallows. 



As has already been said, the earliest mention of Tyburn 
in connection with executions is in 1196, when William 
FitzOsbert, known as " Longbeard," was hanged here : 
with probability we can refer to the site an execution 
taking place a few years earlier. How far back can 
we, in the absence of records, conjecturally place the 
dedication of Tyburn to executions ? We can say, 
with a high degree of probability, that Tyburn was not 
established till after the Conquest, and, further, not till 
after the death of the Conqueror. 

Hanging was not greatly in favour with those whom 
we must, in spite of objections, call the Anglo-Saxons. 
Various fanciful definitions of Time have been given. 
According to Goethe, it is on the roaring loom of Time 
that the Earth-Spirit weaves the living garments of God. 
According to Carlyle, Time is the outer veil of Eternity. 
These poetical definitions seem to have little or no prac- 
tical value. They would convey nothing, for instance, 
to the time-keeper of a wharf or great warehouse. It has 
been reserved for our race to give a definition of real 
solid value : " Time is money." The phrase, revealing in 
three words the soul of a people, has gone the round 
of the world in its native tongue, hailed from pole to 
pole as the final definition of Time. We might look 
with confidence to find in the origins of a people alone 
capable of making this supreme discovery instances of 
this practical outlook on the universe. We shall not be 


disappointed. The laws of our forefathers, based on this 
commercial view, were administered, with a strict eye to 
business, on the joint-stock or co-operative principle. 
To kill a man was mere waste, if money could be screwed 
out of him or out of those who could be made responsible 
for him. " Business is Business." Every man in a 
sense different from that in which Walpole used the 
words every man had his price. Men, according to 
rank, were carefully appraised : a man's " were " was 
so much, his " wite " so much. A murderer must pay 
these sums, or they must be paid by those responsible 
for him. And not only every man, but every part of 
each man had its price. One sees in encyclopaedias 
of domestic economy, prepared for the instruction of 
young and thrifty housekeepers, diagrams setting out the 
differences in value of such and such parts of an ox, a 
sheep, or of " a side " of bacon. Such a chart for use by 
an Anglo-Saxon dispenser of justice would have had 
to be executed on a large scale. The human body was 
divided into thirty-four parts, upon each of which was 
placed a fixed value. It is needless to give here all the 
thirty-four categories ; it will be sufficient to set out 
the prices to be paid for injuries to the arm and 
hand : 

" If the arm-shanks be both broken, the bot is xxx shillings. 
If the thumb be struck off, for that shall be xxx shillings as bot. 

If the nail be struck off, for that shall be v shillings as bot. 
If the shooting (i.e., fore-) finger be struck off, the bot is xv 

shillings : for its nail it is iv shillings. 
If the middlemost finger be struck off, the bot is xii shillings, and 

its nail's bot is ii shillings. 
If the gold (i.e., ring-) finger be struck off, for that shall be xvii 

shillings as bot, and for its nail iv shillings as bot. 
If the little finger be struck off, for that shall be as bot ix shillings, 

and for its nail one shilling, if that be struck off." l 

1 Laws of Alfred, in Thorpe's "Anc, Laws and Inst. of England/' 
fo. ed., p. 42. 


The authors of a code so thoroughly commercial in 
spirit naturally regarded theft as the worst of crimes, and 
hanging was probably common for this offence, if the 
thief could not redeem himself. Thus we read in the 
laws of ^Ethelstan : " That no thief be spared over xii 
pence, and no person over xii years, who we learn, 
according to folk-right, that he is guilty, and can 
make no denial : that we slay him and take all that 
he has." 1 

William the Conqueror abolished capital punishment. 
For this he has been highly eulogised by Mr. J. R. 
Green, who writes of "strange touches of a humanity 
far in advance of his age," of "his aversion to shed 
blood by process of law." But he omits to tell us 
that for the punishment of death William substituted 
punishments whicri, as Mr. Freeman justly says, 
"according to modern ideas were worse than death." 
It is indeed " a strange touch of humanity " which 
prescribed the tearing out of a man's eyes and the 
lopping off of his limbs. A terrible picture of a land 
haunted by sightless and 'maimed trunks is conjured 
up by the words of William's law, "so that the trunk 
may remain alive as a sign of its crimes." 2 

The penalty for breach of this law, confiscation of all 
the offender's property, was so severe that we may well 
believe that capital punishment was actually abolished 
during the reign of William. 

It appears that capital punishment was re-instituted by 
Henry I. in 1108, and there seems no reason for doubting 

1 Thorpe, p. 97. 

3 Laws of William the Conqueror, De Suppliciorum modo : " In- 
terdicimus eciam ne quis occidatur vel suspendatur pro aliqua culpa, 
sed enerventur " (other texts have " eruantur ") " oculi, et abscin- 
dantur pedes, vel testiculi, vel manus, ita quod truncus remaneat 
vivus, in signum prodicionis et nequicie sue : secundum enim quan- 
titatem delicti debet pena maleficis infligi. Ista precepta non sint vio- 
lata super forisfacturam nostram plenam. Testibus, &c." (Thorpe, 
"Ancient Laws and Institutes of England," fol, ed., p. 213). 


the statement, though the evidence was not wholly 
accepted by Sir James Fitzjames Stephen. 

"The English king, Henry, established his peace and settled law, 
by which, if any one was taken in theft or robbery, he should be 
hanged." ' 

The institution of the gallows of Tyburn probably 
dates from this time. The origin of Tyburn is certainly 
Norman ; its early name, " The Elms," testifies to this, 
for among the Normans the elm was the tree of justice. 
Here is the record of a symbolic elm so famous that its 
fall awakened an echo in the distant scriptorium of 
Peterborough : 

" A.D. 1188. In this year, Philip, king of France, cut down an 
Elm in his dominions, between Gisors and Trie, where frequently 
conferences had been held in virtue of an ancient custom instituted 
by his predecessors, between them and the Dukes of Normandy." a 

Something of this symbolical character wa? retained 
by the elm in France long after the name " The Elms " 
had been forgotten here. Rabelais (1483 ?-i553) speaks 
of "juges sous Tonne," and, later, Loyseau (1556-1627) 
has a great deal to say of these " judges under the elm- 
tree." 3 

" The Elms " of Smithfield came by the name in the 
same way, as, there is little doubt, did also " The Elms," 

1 Chron. Roger de Hoveden, ed. Stubbs, i. 165. 

3 Chron. Benedict of Peterborough, ed. Stubbs, ii. 59. 

3 " En France . . . nous voyons aujourd'huy, qu'il n'y a presque si 
petit Gentil-homme, qui ne pretend avoir en propriete la Justice de 
son village ou hameau ; tel meme qui n'a ni village, ni hameau, mais 
un moulin ou une basse court pres sa maison, veut avoir Justice sur 
son meusnier, ou sur son f ermier : tel encore qui n'a ni basse court 
ni moulin ; mais le seul enclos de sa maison, veut avoir Justice sur 
sa femme et sur son valet : tel finalement qui n'a point de maison, 
pretend avoir Justice en 1'air sur les oyseaux du Ciel disant en avoir 
eu autrefois." Loyseau, Charles, " Discours de Tabus des Justices de 
Village," p. i (in GEuvres). 


now Dean's Yard, in the precincts of Westminster 
Abbey ; " The Elms " in the abbey lands at Covent 
Garden, and " Homors " in the precincts of Canterbury 
Cathedral, derived, no doubt correctly, by Professor 
Willis, from a corruption of Ormeaux, Ormayes, Ormoies, 
or Ormerie, plantations of elms. 1 In like manner Elms 
Lane, now Elms Mews, a turning out of the Bayswater 
or Uxbridge Road, probably preserves the name given to 
the gallows which the abbat of Westminster had at 
" Westburn " towards the end of the thirteenth century. 2 

It would not be surprising to find more of such names, 
in form more or less corrupt, in connection with places 
in the precincts of old monastic foundations. It may 
even be hoped that some of the gallows of the abbat of 
Westminster, in addition to the gallows of " Westburn," 
have bequeathed place-names still surviving. 

Before introducing further evidence as to the estab- 
lishment of gallows at Tyburn, reference must be made 
to the confusion existing between " The Elms " of Tyburn 
and " The Elms " of Smithfield. Maitland, and after him 
Parton,s maintained, in ignorance or oblivion of the 
facts, that the gallows (presumably for Middlesex) for- 
merly stood at " The Elms " of Smithfield ; that, at some 
date before 1413, the gallows was removed to St. Giles's, 
where it continued till its removal to Tyburn. But this 
ignores the fact that a gallows did undoubtedly exist at 
Tyburn at the end of the twelfth century. There is, 
besides, no evidence whatever that a royal gallows ever 
existed at St. Giles's, except when a gallows was erected 
here for a special case.4 There may possibly have been 

1 Stanley, " Hist. Mem. of Westminster Abbey," ed. 1882, p. 354 ; 
Brayley, " Londiniana," iv. 215 ; " Arch. Cantiana," vii. 96, 97. 

2 Placita de Quo Waranto, p. 479. 

3 Maitland, " History of London," ii. 1363 ; Parton, " Some 
Account of the Hospital and Parish of St. Giles," p. 38. 

4 Thus Sir John Oldcastle was executed here in 1417, and those 
implicated in Babington's conspiracy in 1586, but in each case there 
were special reasons for the selection of St, Giles's, 


here a local, manorial gallows, for, as has been shown, 
such gallows abounded. There was even another gallows 
at Tyburn, set up by the Earl of Oxford, who, when 
challenged, seems to have admitted that he had no right 
to erect a gallows here. 1 

The confusion will cease if we keep firm hold of the 
fact that Smithfield was within the liberty of the city, 
and that the civic gallows was here erected. There is 
not, so far as I know, any evidence as to the suppression 
of the civic gallows at Smithfield. There were in late 
times executions here, but so there were in many other 
places. Smithfield comes into notice in the second year of 
the fifteenth century as the place of execution, by burn- 
ing, for heresy, a character which it retained so long as 
the punishment was inflicted. 2 

It is not at all probable that the first execution recorded 
as having taken place at Tyburn in 1196 was actually the 
first execution there. I have ventured to allot to Tyburn 

1 Placita de Quo Waranto, p. 479. 

2 Burnings in Smithfield for heresy took place in the following 
years : 1401, 1410, 1415, 1422, 1431, 1438, 1441, 1494, 1499. The writ 
in the first case is given in Rot. Parl., iii. 459 : " Item, mesme ceste 
Mesquerdy, March 2, 1400-1, un Brief feust fait as Meir & Viscontz de 
Londres, par advis des Seigneurs Temporelx en Parlement, de faire 
execution de William Sautre, jadys Chapelein Heretic, dont le 
tenure s'ensuyte." Then follows in Latin the text of the writ, 
Henry to the Mayor and Sheriffs of London. It recites that the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, with the consent and assent of the 
bishops and the whole of the clergy of the province assembled in 
his provincial council, condemned William for heresy, degraded 
him, and decreed that he be left to the secular court, and Holy 
Mother Church has no more to do in the premises. The writ orders 
that in some public and open place within the liberty of the said 
city they shall cause, for the reason set forth, Sawtre to be publicly, 
before the people, committed to the fire and to be burnt. 

Smithfield, long established as a place of execution, was naturally 
selected by the civic authorities ; hence the evil celebrity of Smith- 
field as the place of burning of heretics. The fires of Smithfield, 
associated in the popular mind with " bloody Mary," were kindled 
long before her time, and continued long after her. 


an execution which took place in London in 1177, nine- 
teen years before the execution of William Longbeard. 
There is evidence of the existence of a gallows at Tyburn 
at an uncertain date, but going in probability still further 
back. In 1220 the king, Henry III., ordered the imme- 
diate erection of two good gibbets of the best and 
strongest material, for hanging thieves and other male- 
factors, in the place where gallows were formerly erected, 
namely, at "The Elms" (ad Ulmellos). 1 Strype, in his 
edition of Stow's " Survey," and, seemingly, Peter le 
Neve, whom he quotes in the margin, refer this order to 
" The Elms " of Smithfield, but this is clearly a mistake, as 
the order evidently concerns the royal gallows, not the 
gallows in the jurisdiction of the City of London. 2 

The order refers to "the place where gallows were 
formerly erected, namely, the Elms." It must be taken 
to be an order to replace decayed gallows. We may 
safely allow a life of at least fifty years to the old gallows, 
and it results that gallows had been here from at least as 
early as 1170. 

There is no need to follow further in this place the 
course of executions at Tyburn. We come now to the 
question of the site of the gallows. 

In one of the most recent books in which reference is 
made to the site we find this : " It was customary to vary 
the position of the gallows of Tyburn from time to time, 

1 " Henricus Dei gratia et cetera Vicecomiti Midilsex' salutem. 
Precipimus tibi quod sine omni dilatione in loco ubi furche prius 
erecte fuerunt videlicet ad ulmellos fieri facias duos bonos gibettos 
de forti et optimo maeremio ad latrones et alios malefactores suspen- 
dendos et custum quod ad hoc posueris per visum et testimonium 
legalium hominum computabitur tibi ad scaccarium. Teste H. de 
Burgo Justiciario nostro apud Sanctum Albanum xxij die Maii. 
Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum, 1833 " (Records Commission, i. 419). 

a Stow's " Survey of London," ed. Strype, book iii., p. 238 ; " Liber 
Custumarum," ed. Riley, i. 147-51 ; Stow's " Survey," ed. Thorns, 
pp. 24, 25. By the last two " Humeaus " is correctly understood to 
mean "The Elms" of Smithfield, in the jurisdiction of the City of 


but we may roughly put its approximate position where 
the Marble Arch now stands." It is to be feared that the 
writer would be sorely puzzled if he were asked to pro- 
duce either evidence that the gallows ever stood " where 
the Marble Arch now stands," or evidence of so much as 
a single change of position. But statements of the kind, 
unsupported by evidence, are constantly found in books 
upon London. Those who make these statements are 
probably misled by knowledge of the fact that in our 
times a gallows is brought out for the purpose of a rare 
execution, and then laid up against the time when it will 
be again required. But of old the gallows of Tyburn, 
at least was in constant requisition, and, till a date 
which is well known, was a permanent structure per- 
manent, that is, having regard to its material. The 
gallows of Tyburn was permanent, subject to renewal 
from time to time, till the year 1759, when, as will be 
shown, the permanent gallows gave place to a movable 
gallows. It is in no degree probable that the site of a 
fixed gallows in frequent and continuous use should be 
changed without some good reason. 

The first information of the site of the gallows other 
than the vague indication " Tyburn " is found in one of 
the old chronicles, which tells that, in 1330, Mortimer was 
executed at " The Elms, about a league outside the city." 1 
The distance thus vaguely stated would apply about 
equally to any one of the conjectured sites from Maryle- 
bone Lane to the head of the Serpentine, at which writers 
have severally placed the gallows. 

At first sight it may seem strange that a site so remote 
from the prisons of Newgate and the Tower should have 
been chosen. But it was usual, for a reason which will 
appear, to place the gallows at a considerable distance 
from the town. The gallows for the county of Surrey 
was at St. Thomas-a-Waterings, near the second mile- 
stone on the Kent Road. Loyseau shows that while the 
1 Chron. Avesbury, ed. Thompson, p. 285. 


pillory, used for non-capital punishment, was always set 
up in the principal place or street of a town, capital 
punishments were carried out at a distance " le gibet est 
tousiours emmy les champs." * He refers to Lipsius, 
who in his turn cites ancient authors to prove the prac- 
tice. There is, of course, good reason why the place of 
execution should have been fixed far from the abodes of 
men. In addition to its gallows, Tyburn had its gibbets, 
on which bodies of men hanged alive were suffered to 
hang till they fell to pieces. In other cases bodies were 
transferred, after hanging, to a gibbet 

" Waving with the weather while their neck will hold." 

In a lease granted by the Prior of the Knights Hos- 
pitallers mention is made of Great Gibbet Field and 
Little Gibbet Field, parcel of the manor of Lilleston. 2 
Mr. Loftie says, " We cannot be far wrong in supposing 
that the gibbets stood near the highway." The word 
gibbet was formerly used so loosely that we cannot be 
sure that the fields did not take their name from the 
gallows. But Tyburn certainly had, as well as its gallows, 
gibbets on which were exposed bodies. But this page 
in the early history of Tyburn is almost a blank. The 
subjects on which it is most difficult to find information 
are precisely those of occurrence so common that it has 
not entered the head of contemporaries to notice them. 
That gibbets, as distinct from gallows, did exist in early 
times, there is no doubt ; their use continued down to 
the eighteenth century or later. The old writers do not 
clearly distinguish between gibbet and gallows, but there 
is a passage in which Matthew Paris certainly means to 
speak of a gibbet. In writing of the execution of William 

1 Loyseau (Charles), " Traite des Seigneuries," ed. 1601, p. 46 ; 
ed. 1704, p. 24. 

3 Smith (Thomas), "A Topographical and Historical Account of 
the Parish of St. Marylebone," 1833, pp. 38,39 ; Loftie (W. J.), " Hist, 
of London," ii. 228-9. 



Marsh, Matthew Paris leaves it doubtful whether Marsh 
was or was not at once fixed to a gibbet. But from 
Gregory's chronicle we learn that Marsh was first 
hanged ; from Matthew Paris we learn that the body 
was afterwards hung " on one of the hooks " of a gibbet. 1 
In 1306 the body of Simon Fraser was hung on a gibbet 
for twenty days. In 1324 the king granted a petition of 
the prelates to permit burial of the bodies of the six 
barons hanged (not at Tyburn) in 1322.2 Bodies would 
hang together for a much longer time. Jean Marteilhe 
saw, hanging on a gibbet in 1713, the body of Captain 
Smith, hanged at Execution Dock in 1708.3 

Thus there must have been an accumulation of bodies 
swinging from the gibbets of Tyburn and poisoning the 
air. The French have always been more lavish in public 
monuments than we. The great gibbet of Montfaucon 
in the outskirts of Paris was a solid stone structure, with 
provision for hanging thereon if we may trust the 
pictures given of it at least sixty bodies ; it is said that 
the bodies not unfrequently numbered from sixty to 
eighty. Under cover of the pestilential air, Maitre 
Francois Villon, poet of the gibbet, and the cut-purses, 
his friends, rioted in security from intrusion. 4 

There is very good reason to suppose that a single 
gallows would not be sufficient for the work to be done at 
Tyburn. A gallows in the ordinary form, two uprights 
and a cross-beam, could hardly take more than ten 
victims at a time. We must suppose that the equipment 
of Tyburn demanded at least two such gallows. We 
have seen that in 1220 the king ordered two gallows. 
But in 1571, just in time for Elizabeth's penal laws, 

1 Matthew Paris, Chron. Majora, ed. Luard, iv. 196 ; Gregory's 
Chron., p. 65. 

2 Chron. Murimuth, ed. Thompson, pp. 36, 43. 

3 " Memoires d'un Protestant condamne aux Galeres de France," 
ed. 1881, p. 432. 

4 Maillard (Firmin), " Le Gibet de Montfaucon," 1863, pp. 16 and 
17, and frontispiece. 


a great improvement was made in the form of the gal- 
lows ; a triangular gallows was introduced, capable of 
hanging at one time at least twenty-four men. This is 
the highest number recorded as being hanged at one time, 
but it does not follow that the capacity of the gallows 
was exhausted by this number. The evidence for the 
introduction of the triangular gallows at this time is 
contained in the account of the execution of Dr. 
Story : 

" The first daye of June [1571] the saide Story was drawn upon 
an herdell from the Tower of London unto Tiborn, wher was 
prepared for him a newe payre of gallowes made in triangular 
maner." * 

There is no earlier account of a triangular gallows. 
My friend, Mr. P. A. Daniel, tells me that he knows of 
no reference in the old drama to the triangular form of 
the gallows of date prior to 1571. 

The earliest allusion to this form seems to be in 
1589 :- 

"Theres one with a lame wit, which will not weare a foure 
cornerd cap, then let him put on Tiburne, that hath but three 
corners. " * 

Of about the same date is an allusion in Tarlton's 
" Newes out of Purgatorie," 1590 : 

"It was made like the shape of Tiborne, three square." 3 

A third reference is found in Shakespeare's " Love's 
Labour Lost," one of his early plays : 

1 Harleian Misc., iii. 100-8. 

2 Martin Marprelate, " Pappe with an Hatchet," 1589. 

3 Shakespeare Socy., 1844, p.73. This has been repeatedly quoted 
(following Cunningham) as from "Tarlton's Jests," published in 1611, 
twenty-one years later. 

(In the uppermost lozenge on the left.) 


" Thou mak'st the triumviry, the corner-cap of society, 
The shape of Love's Tyburn, that hangs up simplicity." * 

These references are followed at a short distance in 
date by a delineation showing not only the triangular 
form of the gallows but, roughly, its position. This is 
in a map of Middlesex, engraved by John Norden for 
Camden's " Britannia." It was first given in the folio 
edition of 1607, and reappears in the editions of 1610 and 
1637. In this last it bears the number 17 in the left-hand 
corner. In the edition of 1695, Norden's map is replaced 
by one by Robert Morden. 

In the three maps of the respective editions of 1607, 
1610, and 1637, the triangular gallows is shown impinging 
on the north-east corner of Hyde Park, with the word 
" Tyborne " against it. Here, then, we have evidence that 
thirty-six years after the introduction of the triangular 
gallows it still remained here, clearly a permanent 
structure, probably the very gallows erected in I57I. 2 

The next piece of evidence is furnished by a represen- 
tation of the gallows given in the frontispiece of " The 
Life and Death of Edmund Geninges " published in 1614. 

Twelve years later, in 1626, we find evidence fixing 
for the first time the exact site of the gallows. On June 
26th of this year, Henrietta Maria, after a day spent in 
devotion, went with her attendants through St. James's 
Park to Hyde Park. Whether by accident or design 
she went towards Tyburn. Charles hated the Queen's 
French suite, secured to her by treaty. Within six 
months of the marriage he had resolved to be rid of them. 
The courtiers made the most of the visit to Tyburn ; 
it was averred that the Queen's confessor had made her 
walk barefoot to the gallows, "thereby to honour the 
saint of the day in visiting that holy place, where so many 

1 Act. IV. sc. 3. The play is allotted to the period 1590-4. 

2 I am indebted to Mr. Herbert Sieveking for knowledge of this 
map. He has described it in an article which has not appeared at 
the time when this is written. 



martyrs (forsooth) had shed their blood in the Catholic 
cause." The incident, thus exaggerated, brought matters 
to a head. Sixty of the Queen's attendants were compelled 
to embark for France. The French King was naturally 
indignant at this violation of his sister's rights : a war 
might have arisen out of the quarrel. This was averted 
by the skill of Marchal de Bassompierre, sent over 
as Ambassador Extraordinary. Charles appointed Com- 
missioners to discuss matters with the Marshal. The 
Commissioners expressed the charge in these terms : 
The Queen's attendants abused the influence they had 
over the susceptible and religious mind of the Queen to 
lead her by a long road, across a park, which the Comte 
de Tilliers, her chamberlain, had taken measures to 
keep open, in order to take her to the place where it is 
the custom to execute the most infamous malefactors and 
criminals of all kinds, the place being at the entrance 
of a high road ; an act which tended to bring shame 
and ridicule not only on the Queen herself, but also 
reproach and evil speaking against former kings of 
glorious memory, as though accusing them of tyranny in 
having put to death innocent persons that those people 
regard as martyrs, whereas, on the contrary, not one 
of them was executed on account of religion, but for 
treason in the highest degree. 

Marshal de Bassompierre replied with remarkable 
frankness : " I know of a surety," he said, " that you do 
not believe that which you publish to others." He 
declared that the Queen had not been within fifty paces 
of the gallows. He repeats the description of the place 
as at the entrance of a high road. It is not necessary to 
follow the discussion further. 1 

1 In Mr. Croker's translation we find the following : " It really 
requires the concurrent testimony of all writers to make us believe 
that the queen of England was forced by ' those meddling priests ' 
to walk in penance to Tyburn, and there on her knees, under the 
gibbet, glorify the blessed martyrs of the Gunpowder Plot " (pp. 3, 4). 


[/> 124. 


Laft Speeches of*' 

rs, executed at 'frBUAtij 

nber, 1715. ^. 

the O/+BM/J, on PfV^/^;, 
uthj and nth inftanr, Two 
ere found guilty of Capital 

rcDCL' of Denrh 



The words " the entrance of a high road " fix definitely 
the spot indicated, approximately, by Norden's map. Even 
without the map, then unknown to me, I felt abundantly 
justified in writing that the words applied to a road leading 
out of the road bounding Hyde Park : " This can be no 
other than the road now known as Edgeware Road : 
along the whole length of the park there is no other road 
to which the words could apply." J 

In 1626 we have also the mention of "the three 
wooden stilts " of Tyburn, in Shirley's " The Wedding," 
published in 1629. 

In 1649, in an account of the hanging of a batch of 
twenty-four persons, it is said that eight were hanged 
"unto each Triangle." 2 

In 1660 the bodies of Cromwell, Ireton, and Bradshaw 
were " hanged at the several angles of the Triple-tree." 3 

1680. Seller's map of Middlesex shows the gallows, 
its form not recognisable, near the angle formed by the 
junction of the roads. 

1697. Defoe, in his Essay upon Projects, refers 
to Watling Street: "The same High Way or Street 
called Watling Street . . . went on West to that spot 
where Tyburn now stands, and there turn'd North-West 
... to St. Alban's."4 

1712. Beginning with this date the accounts published 
by Lorrain, the Ordinary of Newgate, of the behaviour of 
condemned criminals, show the prison of Newgate at the 

The passage contains several inaccuracies. In the first place, the 
testimony of all writers was not concurrent, as is shown in the text ; 
next, it was not charged that the Queen " glorified " the martyrs, but 
that she prayed for their souls ; finally, " the blessed martyrs of the 
Gunpowder Plot " do not come into the story, as not one of them was 
executed at Tyburn. 

There exists a rare print, often reproduced, of the supposed scene. 
It is of much later date and has no value whatever as evidence. 

1 In the Athencsum, August 17, 1907. 

3 In Annals under date. 3 Ibid. 

4 Quoted by Mr. John W. Ford in the Athenaeum, August 31, 


top, on one side, and on the other the gallows of Tyburn. 
The illustration is taken from the broadsheet of September 
19, 1712. 

1725. In this year a large map of the newly constituted 
parish of St. George, Hanover Square, was drawn by 
John Mackay. We have in it the first exact location 
of the gallows^ shown as a triangular structure. In 
detailed notes on the map, describing the first " beating 
the bounds " of the parish on Ascension Day, 1725, it is 
stated that the parish boundary to the west was marked 
" on the S.E. Leg of Tyburn," fully proving the perma- 
nence of the structure. The map was reproduced on 
a small scale in the Builder of July 6, 1901, and was de- 
scribed by Mr. Herbert Sieveking in the Daily Graphic 
of March n, 1908. 

1746 to 1757. In 1746 was published Rocque's beauti- 
ful map of London in twenty-four sheets ; this was 
followed by his maps of Middlesex in 1754 and 1757. 
In all the gallows is shown in the open space formed by 
the junction of the roads near the Marble Arch. 

1747. In the last plate of Hogarth's series of " In- 
dustry and Idleness," is shown an execution at Tyburn. 
The gallows, a triangular structure, is in the same 
position (approximately) as in Rocque's maps. 

1756. In Scale's map, published this year, the trian- 
gular gallows is shown in the same position as in 
Rocque's maps. 1 

1 The testimony of maps is not wholly either in favour of a 
triangular gallows, or of the site as indicated by the maps of Mackay 
and Rocque. In a few the gallows is shown as consisting of three 
pieces. In one map such a gallows is shown at some distance to 
the west of Edgeware Road. But the maps are small and unim- 
portant with one exception John Seller's map of the county of 
Middlesex, 1710 and 1742. In these the gallows of three pieces is 
placed just within the angle formed by the junction of the roads. 
But the evidence that at these dates, 1710-42, the gallows was 
triangular, and that it stood in the centre of the open space is too 
clear to be upset by the evidence of this map. 


Tyburn had ceased to be " emmy les champs " ; the 
advance of the town is shown by the inclusion of 
Tyburn in maps of London. So early as 1719 it was 
proposed to move the gallows to Stamford Hill : 

"We hear the famous and ancient Engine of Justice called 
Tyburn is going to be demolished : and we hear the Place of 
Execution is to be removed to Stamford- Hill, beyond Newington, 
on the way to Ware : the Reason given is said to be, because of the 
great Buildings that are going to be erected in Maribone-Fields." * 

Strype, in his edition of Stow's "Survey" (book iv. 
p. 120) mentions another report, but Tyburn defied 
these threats for many years to come. 2 Only in 1759, 
after an existence of near six hundred and fifty years, 
did the permanent gallows of Tyburn give place to 
a movable gallows, put up on the day of an execution 
and afterwards taken down. It is not a little strange 
that a monument of great antiquity, so well known, 
recalling so many tragedies, so intimately connected with 
the history and life of the people, should have been 
allowed to disappear without a word or a curse. I have 
not been able to find any direct reference to the removal 
of the triple-tree. The date of its removal must fall 
between June 18 and October 3, 1759. Under the earlier 
date we find, in the usual terms, the record of an 
execution at Tyburn. The Whitehall Evening Post of 
October 4, 1759, has the following : 

"Yesterday morning, about Half an Hour after Nine o'clock, 
the four malefactors were carried in two carts from Newgate, and 
executed on the new Moving Gallows at Tyburn. . . . The Gallows, 
after the Bodies were cut down, was carried off in a cart." 

1 Mr. Alfred Robbins, in Notes and Queries, November 9, 1907. 

2 Strype, writing in 1720 about Hanover Square then partly built, 
says : " And it is reported that the common Place of Execution of 
Malefactors at Tyburn, shall be appointed elsewhere, as somewhere 
near Kingsland ; for the removing any Inconveniences or Annoy- 
ances, that might thereby ibe occasioned to that Square, or the 
Houses thereabouts." 


The same account is given in other newspapers. The 
Gentleman's Magazine states that " the gallows, which 
is a movable one, was carried there before them and 
fixed up for that purpose." 

The removal of the gallows was followed by the 
occupation of its site by the toll-house of the turnpike, 
shifted from the east corner of Park Lane, then called 
Tyburn Lane, to the corner of Edgeware Road. 

The new movable gallows was ordinarily fixed near the 
corner of Bryanston Street and Edgeware Road (Thomas 
Smith, "A Topographical and Historical Account of the 
Parish of St. Marylebone," 1833) ; but the place of 
erection was not always exactly the same. Thus we 
read in the Gentleman's Magazine under date August 29, 
1783, " The gallows was fixed about 50 yards nearer the 
Park wall than usual." Tyburn ceased to be the place 
of execution in 1783, the last execution here taking place 
on November 7th of that year. 

When the turnpike was in its turn removed, its position 
was recorded by a monument placed on the south side 
of the road, somewhat to the west of the Marble Arch. 
It is a slab of cast iron, with a gable top, bearing on both 
sides the words, " HERE STOOD TYBURN GATE 1829," 
that being the date of the abolition of the turnpike. This 
monument correctly indicated the position of the gate, 
which stretched across the road : it was not intended 
to show the position of the gallows, which, however, it 
did indicate approximately. It was necessarily removed 
in the improvements carried out near the Marble Arch in 
the spring of 1908. 

It may be well, at the risk of repetition, to summarise 
the foregoing account in the form of 



1108. Earliest date to which the establishment of Tyburn as a place 
of execution can with probability be assigned. 

1177. First record of an execution in London, probably at Tyburn. 

1196. First record of an execution, Tyburn being named as the 

1220. Two new gallows ordered for Tyburn. 

1222-1570. Executions at Tyburn recorded at the following dates : 
1222, 1242, 1305, 1330 (position indicated, "about a league 
outside the City of London"), 1386, 1388, 1399, 1400, 1402, 
1404, 1424, 1427, 1437, 1441, 1446, 1447, 1455, 1467, 1468, 
1483, 1495, 1497, 1499, 1502, 1523, 1525, 1531, 1534, 1535, 
i53 6 >* *537> and ea ch year to 1544, 1549, 1550, 1552, and 
each year to 1557, 1560,* 1561,* 1562,* 1563,* 1569,* 1570. 
(The list shows how continuous were executions here.) 

1571. Erection of the permanent triangular gallows. 

1607. Site of triangular gallows shown by map to be to the N. of 
the N.E. corner of Hyde Park. 

1614. Representation of the triangular gallows. 

1626. Exact site of gallows proved by accounts of the visit of 
Henrietta Maria. To the same year must be referred 
mention of "the three wooden stilts" in Shirley's "The 
Wedding," printed in 1629. 

1649. Eight persons hanged on each of the three beams. 

1660. Bodies of Cromwell, Ireton, and Bradshaw " hanged at the 
several angles of the Triple-tree." 

* The years marked * will not be found in the Annals following 
this. The records are uninteresting and have therefore been 
omitted. Tyburn is mentioned as to 1536 in Wriothesley's 
Chronicle, as to 1560, i, 2, and 3, in Machyn's Diary. Stow 
mentions Tyburn in 1569, 


1680. Seller's map of Middlesex shows the gallows (form not 
recognisable) near the angle formed by the junction of the 
roads E., W., and N. 

1697. "Watling Street . . . went on West to that spot where 
Tyburn now stands, and there turned North-West." 

1712. Triangular gallows figured in Lorrain's broadsheet. 

1725, Triangular gallows shown in Mackay's map, in the space 
formed by the junction of the roads. 

1746-1757. Triangular gallows shown in the same position in 
Rocque's maps, London, 1746, Middlesex, 1754, and 1757. 

1747. Triangular gallows shown in the same position (approxi- 
mately) in the last plate of Hogarth's/' Industry and Idle- 

1756. Triangular gallows shown as in Rocque's maps, in Scale's 

J 759' Triangular gallows gives place to movable gallows. 

1783. Last execution at Tyburn. 


S * - 

> if- 


Oh Tyburn ! coud'st thou Reason and Dispute ; 
Coud'st thou but Judge as well as Execute ; 
How often would' st thou change the Felon's Doom, 
And truss some stern Chief -Justice in his room ? 

Then should thy sturdy Posts support the Laws, 
No Promise, Frown, nor popular Applause, 
Shou'd sway the Bench to favour a bad Cause. 
Nor Scarlet Gown, swell'd with Poetick Fury, 
Scare a false Verdict from a trembling Jury. 
Justice, with steady Hand and even Scales, 
Should stand upright, as if sustain'd by Hales. 
Yet still, in Matters doubtful to decide, 
A little bearing tow'rds the milder side. 

DRYDEN, Miscellany Poems, 5th ed., 1727, v. 126. 



To tell fully the story of Tyburn for the six centuries 
of its existence would need many volumes. As a selec- 
tion has to be made, I have chosen rather to take the 
older and less familiar incidents than to dwell on those 
of the eighteenth century, already well known. 

In telling the stories found in the old chronicles, I have 
refrained from giving in my own version what I found 
adequately told by the old writers. Thus, if I quote 
Stow, Hall, or Holinshed for events that happened long 
before their time, it is, of course, not as first-hand 
authorities, but because their rendering is certainly 
more interesting than any I could give. 

The reader will not fail to observe how extremely 
meagre are these annals for the first centuries of Tyburn. 
For the first hundred years, 1177 to 1273, there appear 
here only eight cases. For this century and down to the 
year 1535, I have, I think, given all the Tyburn tragedies 
recorded by the old chroniclers. The explanation of this 
meagreness is, that the chroniclers noted only executions 
arising out of political incidents or out of social incidents 
of extraordinary interest : only in times comparatively 
late do we get glimpses of the work done by the gallows 
on small offenders. All through the long era of religious 
persecutions we hear little of ordinary criminals : only 
now and again some number is mentioned of those exe- 
cuted or tumbled into a pit together with a priest. 

I may be asked how I arrive at the conclusion stated 
in the introductory remarks, that a moderate estimate 


would place the number of those executed at Tyburn at 
fifty thousand. As the gallows was at work for six 
hundred years, this number would give an average of 
less than one hundred a year. Four streams of victims 
converged on Tyburn. The gallows was fed from the 
courts of Westminster and Guildhall (see, for example, 
cases in these Annals under the years 1242, 1295, 1441, 
and 1495). But the great purveyors of the gallows were 
the Middlesex Sessions and the Old Bailey Sessions, the 
first for the county, the latter for the City and its Liberties. 
It appears that there are no records of the number of 
persons hanged in pursuance of sentences passed at the 
Old Bailey Sessions : fortunately, the case is different 
as regards the Middlesex Sessions. The labours of 
Mr. John Cordy Jeaffreson T have placed us in pos- 
session of exact accounts of the numbers hanged at 
certain periods for felonies committed in the county of 
Middlesex. For ten years, 6th to i5th James I., these 
number 704. Mr. Jeaffreson justly argues that the 
felonies committed in the City and its Liberties must have 
exceeded in number those committed in the adjacent 
county. But, taking them as only equal in number, we 
get 704 + 704 = 1,408, or a yearly average of over 140. 
He finds no reason to suppose that executions were less 
frequent during the reign of Elizabeth. On the assump- 
tion that the rates were equal and continuous through 
the two reigns, we have a total for this period of 66 years 
of 9,240. 

The returns for the reign of Charles I. are defective in 
respect of some years. Even after making allowance on 
this account, the average for Middlesex is not higher than 
45. Doubling this as before, we get 90, as against the 
Jacobean 140. Mr. Jeaffreson accepts this remarkable 
fall, ascribing it to several causes : the spread of education, 
enabling more persons to plead their clergy ; a growing 
disposition on the part of juries to convict of petty larceny 
1 Middlesex County Records, 4 vols., 1897-1902, 


only on evidence of grand larceny ; the larger number 
of reprieves ; the greater readiness of juries to give the 
prisoner the benefit of doubt ; finally, the operation of 
the Act, 21 James I., c. 6, which in an indirect way put 
women on a level with men in respect of clergyable 

The rate was exceeded, but not very greatly, during the 
Commonwealth. We will take the average of 90 for the 
period covered by the reign of Charles I. and the Com- 

Under the years 1535-7, I have written at some length 
on the results of the social convulsion produced by the 
dissolution of the monasteries and the enclosures. In 
estimating the number of excutions for the reign of 
Henry VIII., we may take the Jacobean rate of 140 per 
annum for the earlier years of the reign, from 1509-35 
twenty-seven years. We shall probably be well under 
the mark in quadrupling the Jacobean rate for the re- 
maining eleven years of this reign, and for the six years 
of the reign of Edward VI. For the troubled reign of 
Mary we will double the Jacobean rate. We may now 
tabulate the results of a calculation on the basis of the 
foregoing assumptions : 

Assumed Yearly Average 
Duration, of Executions at 

Reign. Years. Tyburn. Total. 

Henry VIII. ... 27 140 3,780 1 

Ditto ii 560 6,i6oK' 

Edward VI. ... 6 560 3,360 

Mary 5 280 1,400 

Elizabeth 44 140 6,160 

James 1 22 140 3,080 

Charles I. ... 24 90 2,160 

Commonwealth... n 90 990 

150 27,090 

It is, of course, not claimed that this table presents 
more than the results of reasonable conjecture with the 
data available we cannot get beyond conjecture. The 


table shows 27,000 executions at Tyburn in i^o years, 
leaving fewer than 23,000 to be made up in the remaining 
450 years to the conjectured number 50,000. This gives 
a yearly average of less than 52, which is certainly very 

During the last hundred years of the existence of 
Tyburn, political executions become more and more 
rare ; the interest of Tyburn becomes more and more 
a social interest. The salient feature of this period is 
furnished by the exploits of highwaymen : it might almost 
be called the era of the knights of the road. Apart from 
this, the striking feature of the later history of Tyburn, 
say from the accession of William III., is the constantly 
increasing ferocity of the laws. The reign of William 
saw passed the infamous Act inflicting the punish- 
ment of death for stealing in a shop to the value of 
five shillings. Through succeeding reigns Acts were 
heaped on Acts, making this and that crime a capital 
offence. No opportunity was lost of loading the Statute 
Book with these odious Acts, till, as has been estimated, 
the law of England reckoned two hundred capital 
offences. Children were hanged or burnt, according 
to sex ; nor did even this satisfy the ferocity of the 
governing classes. Theorists advocated a return to the 
barbarous punishments of rude times : the State, by 
diminishing the time accorded for repentance, sought 
to pursue its victims beyond the grave. The heaping 
up of death-punishments continued beyond the time 
when Tyburn ceased to uphold the majesty of the law. 
In the year 1786 an Act was passed imposing duties, 
denoted by stamps, on perfumery and the like the 
duties ranged from one penny upwards. To counterfeit 
such a stamp was DEATH, so that to defraud the State of 
one penny put an offender in jeopardy of his life. 

All honour to those who, like Fielding, Mandeville, 
Meredith, Basil Montague, Bentham, Romilly, laboured 
to bring home to their fellow-citizens a sense of the 


iniquity of these murderous laws. Nor should we forget 
their predecessors. Sir Thomas More stated once for all 
the true view of the case : " This punyshment of theues 
passeth the limites of lustice, and is also very hurtefull to 
the weale publique. For it is too extreame and cruel 
a punishment for thefte, and yet not sufficient to refrayne 
and withold men from thefte. For simple thefte is not 
so great an offense, that it owght to be punished with 
death." We owe also grateful mention to Samuel Chidley, 
who, in the time of the Commonwealth, wearied not in 
protesting against " this over-much justice in hanging 
men for stealing." 

1177. The first recorded execution which can be re- 
ferred to Tyburn occurred in this year. It is probable 
that Tyburn was the place of execution, but, leaving this 
case aside for the time, we come to the execution of 
William Fitz Osbert, or " Longbeard," expressly stated 
to have been carried out at Tyburn. 

1196. William Fitz Osbert, or Osborn, popularly known 
as " Longbeard," was a citizen of London, described as 
skilled in the law. He is first made known to us by the 
story of a vision seen by him and a companion on board 
a ship, one of the fleet of Richard Cceur de Lion, on its 
way to the Holy Land. 

In a great storm at sea there appeared to them three 
times St. Thomas of Canterbury, who said to them, " Fear 
not, for I and the Blessed Martyr Edmund, and the 
Blessed Confessor Nicholas have taken charge of this 
ship of the King of England. And if the men of this 
ship will eschew evil and seek pardon for past offences, 
God will give them a prosperous voyage." Having thrice 
said this, he vanished and the storm ceased. This was 
in 1190. Richard, on his return, was captured and held 
to ransom by the emperor. The raising of the ransom 
proved very grievous to the people. There was trouble 
in the City of London as to the way of assessing the 


burden. The poorer sort claimed that the citizens should 
not be called on to pay so much per head, whether rich 
or poor, but that the assessment should be according to 
means. William Longbeard took the part of the poor 
citizens : it came to be a matter to be fought to the death 
between the magnates and Longbeard. Moreover, Long- 
beard had accused of extortion Hubert, Archbishop of 
Canterbury and Justiciar. An armed band was told off 
to arrest Longbeard. He resisted, slew two chiefs of the 
band, but was compelled to fly for protection to the 
church of St. Mary-le-Bow. Then the archbishop did 
a thing unheard of. He, a churchman, bound by every 
consideration to guard the privileges of the church, set 
at nought the right of sanctuary, kindled a fire, and drove 
Longbeard out of the church. In his attempt to escape 
Longbeard was wounded by the son of one of those whom 
he had killed in trying to escape arrest. He was hurried 
to trial : the great men of the city and the king's officers 
joined in urging the justiciar to inflict the severest punish- 
ment on the offender. This was the punishment : His 
upper garments were taken off, then his hands were 
bound behind his back, and, attached by ropes to a horse, 
he was dragged from the Tower through the City to 
Tyburn, and there hanged alive by a chain. 

What was he, unscrupulous demagogue or martyr in 
the cause of the poor ? Each view was held by his con- 
temporaries. He seems to have behaved very badly to 
his elder brother, whose care for him during his youth he 
repaid by bringing against him a charge of treason. On 
the other hand, it is clear that Longbeard's enemies had 
against him a case which it was necessary to strengthen by 
baseless accusations. He was charged with blaspheming 
the Virgin Mary, and with taking his concubine into Bow 
Church. The last charge seems disproved by the circum- 
stances in which Longbeard fled to the church for refuge. 
It was also set about that he was put to death for "heresy 
and cursed doctrine," whereas it is obvious that his 


offence was political. Be this as it may, his enemies 
triumphed ; Longbeard was drawn and hanged with nine 
of his fellows. But " the simple people honoured him as 
a Martyre, insomuch that they steale away the gibbet 
whereon he was hanged, & pared away the earth, that 
was be-bled with his blood, and kept the same as holy 
reliques to heale si eke men." Hubert, the archbishop, 
drove them away. But two years later the monks of 
Canterbury presented to the Pope charges against Hubert. 
The first is that he had violated the peace of the Church 
of Bow by forcing out Longbeard and his fellows. The 
Pope advised Richard to remove Hubert from the office 
of justiciar, and not to employ churchmen in secular 
offices. Hubert resisted for a while, but in the end 
accepted his dismissal. 

Stow, in his " Survey " (ed. Thomas, p. 96), says that 
Longbeard was hanged at " the Elms in Smithfield," 
but there is no authority for this. 

The evidence that "The Elms" of Tyburn was the 
place of execution is full : " Ad furcas prope Tyburnam," 
Chronicle of Ralph de Diceto, ed. Stubbs, ii. 143 ; " ad 
furcas prope Tiburcinam," Roger of Wendover, ed. 
Coxe, iii. 95, ed. Hewlett, i. 244 ; Gervase of Canterbury 
has " ad Ulmos," ed. Stubbs, i. 533-4 ; " ad Ulmetum," 
Matthew Paris, Chron. Maj., ed. Luard, ii. 419 ; Hist. 
Anglor., ed. Madden, ii. 57-8. 

Diceto, Dean 'of St. Paul's, is believed to have died 
about 1202; Roger of Wendover died in 1236: their 
evidence is, therefore, first-hand. 

1177. From the accounts of the execution of Long- 
beard it is quite clear that in 1196 Tyburn was established 
as the place of execution ; in the detailed accounts given 
there is no hint that this was the first execution carried 
out here. It has been shown that gallows existed 
here as early, probably, as 1170. When, therefore, we 
find mention of an execution of a date earlier than that 
of Longbeard, taking place at London, for a crime of 



which the royal court would necessarily have cognisance, 
it is at least highly probable that Tyburn, though not 
expressly mentioned, was the place of execution. 

The crime of 1177 is one of those few social crimes, 
as distinguished from political offences, of which the 
chroniclers make mention ; the story reveals a strange 
picture of the manners of the time. 

During a council held at London the brother of the 
Earl of Ferrers was murdered in his inn, the body being 
afterwards thrown into the mud of the street. When the 
king heard of this he was greatly moved, and swore that he 
would visit the crime heavily upon the citizens of London. 
For it was said that a hundred and more of the sons and 
relatives of the nobles of the City were in the habit of 
breaking into the houses of wealthy men for the purpose 
of robbery. And if they found any one going by night 
about the streets they forthwith murdered him without 
pity, so that for fear of them few dared to go about the 
City by night. So it came about that in the third year 
before this, the sons and nephews of certain nobles of the 
City, meeting together by night, for the sake of plunder 
broke into the stone house of a certain rich man of 
London, using iron wedges for the purpose of making an 
opening, by which they entered. But the head of the 
house had been warned beforehand of their intent, 
wherefore he put on a leather cuirass, and had with him 
several nobles and trusty servants also protected by 
armour, sitting with him in a corner of the house. And 
when he saw one of those thieves, by name Andrew 
Bucquinte, pressing on in front of the others with 
glowing face, he brought forward a pot full of live coals, 
and hurriedly kindled some wax tapers which he carried 
in his hand, and rushed upon him. Which beholding, 
the said Andrew Bucquinte drew his knife from its sheath 
and struck the master of the house ; but he failed to 
wound him because the blow fell upon the cuirass. And 
the master of the house quickly drawing his sword from 


its sheath, returned the blow, and lopped off the right 
hand of the said Andrew Bucquinte, crying with a loud 
voice, " Thieves, thieves ! " and hearing ' this all fled 
except him who had lost his hand, he being held by the 
master of the house. And when day broke he took him 
to Richard de Lucy, the king's justice, who threw him 
into prison. And the thief, on promise of life and limb, 
gave up the names of his companions, many of whom were 
taken, though many also escaped. Among those taken 
was a certain very noble and very rich citizen of London, 
by name John Senex, who being unable to clear himself 
by the ordeal of water, offered to the king five hundred 
marks of silver for his life. But as he was condemned by 
the ordeal of water, the king refused to accept the money, 
and ordered that judgment should be done upon him, 
and he was hanged. 1 

1222. In one of the ancient records of the City of 
London, the " Liber de Antiquis Legibus," there occur 
two short notices : 

A.D. 1197, Constantine Fitz-Athulf and Robert le Bel 

(as Sheriffs). 
A.D. 1221. In this year Constantine Fitz-Athulf was 

hanged, and that without trial. 

The story of the execution without trial of one who had 
been sheriff of the great and powerful City compels atten- 
tion. It is thus told by the chroniclers, the date assigned 
being 1222 or 1223 : 

In this year, on the feast of St. James the Apostle, 

1 Chrons. of Benedict of Peterborough, ed. Stubbs, i. 155, 56; 
Roger of Hoveden, ed. Stubbs, ii. 131. 

Ordeal of water was of two kinds : In one the person undergoing 
the ordeal was thrown into deep water ; if, without swimming, he 
floated, he was deemed guilty ; if he sank, innocent. In this case the 
ordeal was probably of boiling water, in which the person plunged 
his arm into boiling water ; the arm was bound up, and on its appear- 
ance after a certain time judgment was given. 


July 25, the inhabitants of London and those of the 
neighbouring country, having challenged one another to 
a wrestling match, met near the hospital of Queen 
Matilda, outside the City (St. Katherine's Hospital, near 
the Tower) to decide who were the stronger in this sport. 
The contest was long, and after great efforts on both 
sides, the citizens of London had the best of the contest, 
to the chagrin of their adversaries. He who took the 
defeat most to heart was the seneschal of the abbat of 
Westminster, who devised means to avenge the defeat 
of his party. Having formed in his mind a plan of 
vengeance, he issued a fresh challenge for the feast of 
St. Peter's Chains (August ist), and sent word for every- 
one to come to Westminster to wrestle, promising a ram 
as a prize. That being done the said seneschal got 
together strong and practised wrestlers, so that the victory 
might be thus gained. The citizens of London, wishing 
to distinguish themselves a second time, came in great 
numbers to the appointed place. The contest began, 
those on one side and the other trying to throw their 
opponents to the ground, but the seneschal of whom 
mention has been made, having brought up people from 
the neighbourhood and from the country, turned the 
contest into a fight which would satisfy his revenge. He 
took up arms without provocation and furiously charged, 
not without bloodshed, the unarmed citizens of London. 
The citizens, wounded and insulted, fled in disorder to 
the City. There ensued a great tumult : the common 
bell was rung and brought the people together. The 
story went about, every one gave his opinion, and pro- 
posed his plan of revenge. At last the Mayor, Serle, 
a man prudent and peaceful, advised that complaint 
should be made to the abbat of Westminster, and said 
that if he would consent to make suitable reparation, 
every one should then be satisfied. But Constantine, 
who had great power in the City, declared amid great 
applause that it would be better to throw down all the 


houses belonging to the abbat of Westminster, as well as 
the seneschal's house. Forthwith an order was drawn up, 
enjoining the immediate execution of Constantine's pro- 
ject. A blind multitude, a mad populace, entrusted Con- 
stantine with this civil war, flung itself in a tumult on the 
possessions of the abbat, demolished several houses, and 
did great damage. In the midst of this scene was Con- 
stantine, continually reciting the order, and crying with 
all his might, "Montjoie! Montjoie ! God and our 
lord Louis be our help ! " 

This cry, more than anything else, provoked the king's 
friends, and made them determine to exact punishment 
for this sedition, as we will now tell. The facts soon got 
about, and came to the ear of Hubert de Burgh, the 
justiciar, who, having got together a number of knights, 
put himself at their head and went to the Tower of 
London, from which he sent a message to the elders to 
come to him without delay. When they were before him 
he asked who were the principal movers in the sedition ; 
who were they who had dared to trouble the royal city, 
and break the king's peace ? Then Constantine, constant 
in his presumption and pride, answered otherwise than 
was either becoming or prudent. " It is I," he said, 
" what wilt thou ? " He declared that he was protected 
by treaty, that he could justify what he had done, 
which was even less than he ought to have done. 
He trusted to the oath taken by the king as well as 
by Prince Louis, by the terms of which the friends 
and partisans of one or the other were to be left in 

The justiciar, hearing this avowal of Constantine, de- 
tained him and two of his abettors, without exciting any 
disturbance. The next morning he sent Fawkes de 
Breaute (known to him as a man ready for any cruelty) 
with an armed force to carry Constantine by way of the 
Thames to be hanged at The Elms. Quickly and secretly 
they carried him thither, and when Constantine had the 


rope round his neck, he offered fifteen thousand marks 01 
silver if his life might be spared. To whom answer was 
made that never more should he get up a riot in the 
king's city. Hanged therefore he was, together with 
Constantine, his nephew, and a certain Geoffrey, who had 
proclaimed the order in the City. 

Thus was the sentence on Constantine carried out un- 
known to the citizens, and without disorder. That done, 
the justiciar made his entry into London, with Fawkes 
and the armed men who had gone with him. He arrested 
all known to have taken part in the riot, threw them into 
prison, and let them out only when he had caused their 
feet or hands to be lopped off. Numbers fled and never 
returned. The king took sixty citizens as hostages, and 
deposed the magistrates and put others in their room. 
Moreover, he ordered that a great gallows should be set 
up. 1 

1236. About this time some bold but rash nobles in 
England, seduced by we know not what spirit, conspired 
together, and entered into an execrable alliance to ravage 
England like robbers and night-thieves. Their design, 
however, became known, and the chief of the conspiracy 
to wit, Peter de Buffer, one of the king's doorkeepers 
was taken prisoner, and by him others were accused. In 
order to whose execution a dreadful machine, commonly 
called a gibbet, was set up in London, and on it two 

1 Chronicles: Matthew Paris, Chron. Maj., ed. Luard, iii. 71-3; 
"Hist. Anglor.," ed. Madden, ii., 251-2; "John of Oxenede," ed. 
Ellis, 147 ; Chron. Dunstable (in Annales Monastici) ed. Luard, iii. 

Evidently, what was at first a riot had developed into a revolt, for 
" Montjoie !" was the cry of the French prince, Louis, who, brought 
over by the barons, had but recently given up his pretensions to the 
English crown. The alleged violation of the king's oath afterwards 
furnished Louis with a pretext for refusing a restitution demanded by 
the English king. 

" The Elms," mentioned as the place of execution, was certainly 
The Elms of Tyburn, as shown by Sir J. H. Ramsay, in the Athenceum 
of September 7, 1907. 


of the chief conspirators were hanged, after having 
engaged in single combat. One of them was killed in 
the fight, and was hanged with his head cleft open, and 
the other, hanged alive, breathed forth his wretched life 
on the same gibbet amid the lamentations of the assembled 
multitude. 1 

1239. A certain messenger of the king, named William, 
had been convicted of manifold crimes, and lay in prison 
under sentence of death. He brought accusations of 
treason against several nobles ; he also made a criminal 
charge against Ralph Briton, a priest and canon of the 
Church of St. Paul's, London, who had for some time 
been a familiar friend of the king, and had held the office 
of treasurer. On this coming to the king's ears he by 
letter ordered the Mayor of London, William Gromer 
(or Gerard Batt), to seize Ralph and imprison him in the 
Tower of London, and the Mayor obeying the king rather 
than God, at once carried the king's orders into effect. 
He dragged the said Ralph with violence from his house 
near St. Paul's, and imprisoned him in the Tower, 
securing him with chains, commonly called rings. The 
Dean of London, Master G. de Lucy, informed of this, 
took counsel with his fellow canons (the bishop being 
absent), and pronounced a general sentence of excom- 
munication against all the presumptuous perpetrators of 
this enormity, and placed St. Paul's Church under an 
interdict. The king, however, although warned by the 
bishop, did not amend his faults, but continued with 
threats to heap evils on evils, so that the bishop was 
about to place the whole of the City of London, which 
was subject to him, under an interdict : but when the 
archbishop of Canterbury, as well as the legate, the 
bishop of London, and many other prelates, were pre- 
pared to lay a heavy hand on the City, the king, although 
unwillingly, ordered the said Ralph to be released, 

1 Chron. Matthew Paris, Chron. Maj., ed. Luard, iii. 370. Tyburn is 
not mentioned as the place of execution. 


and allowed to depart in peace. But when the king 
sought to add the condition that Ralph should be so 
kept as to be ready to give an explanation when the king 
required it, the churchmen replied that they would not 
on any account keep him in this manner, like an im- 
prisoned man, but that the church should receive him 
as absolutely free, just as when the king's attendants 
tore him by force from his house. In this manner 
then was Ralph released. 

Not long afterwards, the before-named villain, who had, 
as above stated, calumniated the nobles and the aforesaid 
Ralph, was ignominiously hanged outside the City of 
London, on that instrument of punishment called a 
gibbet : and when he saw that death was certain, he, 
although late, openly confessed before the people and 
his executioners that he had made the aforesaid accusa- 
tions only for the purpose of prolonging his life. 1 

1242. William de Marisco, or Marsh, was the son 
of Geoffrey, justiciar or viceroy of Ireland. In 1235 
Henry Clement, a messenger from the Irish peers to the 
king, was murdered in London. William Marsh was 
accused of the murder, but he always protested his 
innocence. William was also accused of being impli- 
cated in the attempted assassination of the king at 
Woodstock (p. 30). His father, Geoffrey, was also 
suspected of being privy to the attempt, and his lands 
being seized on this account, he fled to Scotland, whence 
he was finally driven out at the king's instance, dying 
friendless and poor in France. This is the chronicler's 
account of the doings of William after his father's fall : 

William sought refuge in a certain island not far from 
Bristol, Devon, or Cornwall, named Luridy, an impreg- 
nable retreat Here, having drawn to himself a number 
of outlaws and fugitives, he lived by piracy ; he gave 

1 Chron. Matthew Paris, Chron. Maj., ed. Luard, iii. 543-5 ; 
"Flores Hist.," ed. Luard, ii. 231. Tyburn is not expressly 
mentioned as the place of execution. 


himself up to plunder and rapine, seizing the goods 
of merchants trading in those parts, especially wine and 
provisions. He also made sudden descents on the coasts, 
carrying off booty, injuring greatly thereby the kingdom 
of England, by preying upon merchants, both native and 
foreign. Now, a great number of nobles, English as well 
as Irish, who could not honourably dwell at home while 
the king was engaged in war in parts beyond the sea, 
journeyed across the countries not far distant from the 
said island, and ascertained beyond doubt that the said 
William and his. band could be taken only by stratagem. 
They told the king that he must proceed in the matter 
not violently, but cautiously, in order to capture these 
devastators. The king therefore gave his orders to 
trusted men, engaging them by the prqmise of a rich 
reward to undertake the capture of this man and the 
deliverance of their country. The said William was 
hateful to the king, because he suspected him of being 
privy, together with his father, Geoffrey, to the attempted 
assassination, and to have been wickedly guilty of treason 
by sending the wretch who went by night to Woodstock 
to cut the king's throat ; also to have killed in London, 
in the king's presence, a certain messenger sent by an 
Irish nobleman. William's denial of the charges was not 
believed, nor even listened to. Therefore he imprudently 
sought safety in remote places, living like an outlaw and 
a fugitive. 

After narrating other events, the chronicler continues : 
About this time, William Marsh, a knight, of whom 
mention has been made, while he was still in the above- 
mentioned island, plundering and planning ambushes, 
was himself captured by a stratagem, carried out by the 
king's loyal servants, loaded with chains, brought to 
London and thrown into the Tower. His capture was 
brought about by the treachery of some of his band. His 
stronghold was situated on a very high rock, surrounded 
on all sides by the sea, absolutely impregnable, for none 


could get access to it otherwise than by a ladder, and that 
in but one place. William sitting down to table, during 
foggy weather, had imprudently left the watch of this 
post to a man who, being detained by William by force, 
was therefore ready to betray him. 

On the eve of St. James [July 25], by virtue of the 
king's mandate, the said William and sixteen of his band, 
taken with him, were judicially condemned, and put to 
death ignominiously, for so the king willed. 

First, therefore, he was drawn from Westminster to the 
Tower of London, and thence to that instrument of 
punishment, commonly called a gibbet : when he had 
there breathed out his wretched soul, he was hanged on 
one of the hooks, and when the body was stiff it was let 
down and disembowelled, and the bowels were at once 
burnt on the spot. Then the miserable body was divided 
into four parts, which were sent to four of the chief cities, 
so that this lamentable spectacle might inspire fear in all 
beholders. All his sixteen companions were drawn at 
the tails of horses through the City of London, and 
hanged on the gallows. But the said William, after 
sentence was passed on him, and when he was about to 
face death, protested to his last breath, invoking the 
divine judgment, that he was innocent, pure, and wholly 
without blame, as well in respect of the criminal attempt 
on the king, as of the death of the above-mentioned 
messenger, that is to say, Clement. Nor did he take 
refuge in the said island except to avoid by his flight 
the king's anger, which he had above all things desired 
to appease, either by ordeal of any kind, or otherwise 
by submission. But after he had fled to the said island, 
and had got together his band, he had no choice but to 
plunder in order to maintain a wretched existence. He 
poured out his soul to God, in confession to John of St. 
Giles, a friar of the order of preachers : with contrition 
and tears he admitted his sins, not seeking to extenuate 
them, but even accusing himself. Therefore the friar 



IN 1242. 


.preacher, a discreet man, who received his confession, 
gave him gentle consolation, and dismissed him in peace, 
exhorting him to suffer his punishment with patience, as 
a means of penance. And, therefore, as has been said, 
he suffered dreadful to tell not one death only, but 
several horrible deaths. 1 

1255. The story of Little St. Hugh, the Martyr of 
Lincoln, comes into the Annals of Tyburn through the 
execution of eighteen Jews supposed to have been guilty. 
It is interesting to see what Chaucer has made out of 
this squalid tragedy in the Prioress's Tale, one of the 
most beautiful of the Canterbury Tales. The reader will 
not need to be reminded that Norwich had its boy- 
martyr, St. William, supposed to be done to death in the 
same way in 1144. Bury St. Edmund's had also its 
boy-martyr. 2 

Matthew Paris tells the story : 

About the time of the feast of the Apostles Peter and 
Paul, the Jews of Lincoln stole a boy named Hugh, 
about eight years of age. They kept him shut up in a 
very secret room, where they gave him milk, and other 
food such as is given to children, and sent word to most 
of the cities of England in which Jews dwelt, summon- 
ing from each some Jews to be present at the sacrifice 
which was to take place in Lincoln, in contempt and 
derision of Jesus Christ. For, as they said, they had a 

1 Matthew Paris, Chron. Maj., ed. Luard, iv. 193-6. Matthew of 
Westminster, " Flores Histor.," ii. 253. The names of William's 
captors, William Bardulf and Richard de Warenne, are given in 
" Liber de Antiquis Legibus," Riley's translation, p. 9. 

The place of Marsh's execution is not given in the great chronicles, 
but we are able to supply it from Gregory's Chronicle (Camden 
Society, 1876) : " Henry III., Anno xxv. Ande that yere dyde Saynt 
Roger, Byshoppe of London. And Wylliam Marche was drawe and 
hangyd at Tyburne," p. 65. This may make us less doubtful in 
allotting to Tyburn executions the place of which is not specially 

2 See "The Jews of Angevin England," by Joseph Jacobs, 
pp. 19-21, 75. 


child hidden in preparation for the sacrifice. And many 
assembled at Lincoln ; and when they were gathered 
together, they appointed a Jew as judge, as it were Pilate, 
by whose sentence, approved by all, the boy suffered 
various tortures. He was beaten till blood was drawn 
and his body was black and blue : crowned with thorns : 
spat upon and overwhelmed with jibes : then each one 
pricked him with knives of the kind called anelaces : he 
was made to drink gall, and, jeering at him, and grinding 
their teeth, they called him false prophet. And when 
they had thus mocked him in many ways, they crucified 
him, and thrust a lance into his heart. And when the 
boy was dead, they took the body down from the cross 
and took the bowels out of the little body, for what 
purpose is not known, but it is said that it was for 
some practice of magic. 

Now the mother of the child diligently sought for her 
son during many days. In the end the neighbours told 
her that they had last seen the boy playing with some 
Jewish boys of his own age, and that he went into the 
house of a certain Jew. At once, therefore, the woman 
went into that house, where she saw the body of her 
son, which had been thrown into a well. The bailiffs of 
the city, having been cautiously got together, the body 
was found and taken out of the well, and exhibited to 
the people. But the mother of the boy, crying aloud 
and lamenting, excited to tears and sighs, all, yes, all 
the citizens who had flocked together. Now there was 
present Sir John of Lexinton, a man circumspect, discreet 
and of elegant literary acquirements, who said : " We 
had already heard that the Jews have not feared to do 
such things in contempt of our crucified Lord, Jesus 
Christ." And one Jew being arrested, into whose house 
the boy had gone, in playing about, on whom therefore 
suspicion fell rather than upon others, he said to him : 
" Wretch, thou knowest that all thou hast to expect is 
swift destruction. All the gold of England cannot suffice 


- - , 


to free or redeem thee. Nevertheless, I tell thee, how- 
ever unworthy thou art, how thou canst save thy life, and 
thy limbs from torture. Both things I promise to thee 
if thou dost not fear to tell me without falsehood all 
that has taken place." Then the Jew, whose name was 
Copin, thinking he had found a way of escape, said : 
" Sir John, if your deeds are as good as your words I 
will tell you strange things." And Sir John carefully 
heartened him and pressed him. Then said the Jew : 
"What the Christians say is true. The Jews nearly 
every year crucify a boy in derision and contempt of 
Jesus Christ. But this is not found out every year, 
because it is done secretly and in remote and hidden 
places. But our Jews have most pitilessly crucified this 
boy, named Hugh, and when he was dead and they wished 
to conceal his death they knew not how either to bury or 
to hide him. For they had no further need of the body 
of the innocent for augury : for that purpose they had 
taken out the bowels. But in the morning, when they 
thought it was hidden, the earth rejected it and threw it 
up, and the body appeared for a while on the earth, 
unburied, which frightened the Jews. Then they threw 
the body into a well, but even so it could not be hidden. 
The mother, making enquiry, found the body and gave 
notice to the bailiffs." Sir John had the Jew put in chains. 

And when the canons of the cathedral church of 
Lincoln learnt of these things, they begged that the little 
body might be given to them, and this was done. And 
when it had been seen by a great number of people, the 
body was buried in the church of Lincoln, as that of a 
precious martyr. It is to be noted that the Jews had 
kept the boy alive ten days, and had fed him upon milk, 
so that he might live to bear all kinds of torture. 

When the king returned from the northern parts of 
England and was informed of what had passed, he 
blamed Sir John for promising life and limb to such a 
wretch, and he refused to ratify this, for this blasphemer 


and murderer had deserved many deaths. And when the 
criminal saw that an irrevocable sentence threatened him, 
he said : " Death threatens me, nor can Sir John save me. 
Now will I tell the truth to all of you. Almost all the 
Jews of England consented to the boy's death of which 
they are accused. And from almost every city of England 
in which Jews dwell, certain men, chosen for the purpose, 
came to the immolation of the child, as to a sacrifice of 

When he had said other hateful things, he was made 
fast to the tail of a horse and drawn to the gallows, and 
given over body and soul to the evil demons of the air. 
And other Jews, accomplices in the crime, to the number 
of ninety-one, were taken in carts to London and put 
in prison. If perchance some Christians shed tears for 
their fate, their lot was bemoaned with dry eyes by the 
Caursins, their rivals. 

Afterwards, by enquiry made by the justices of our 
lord the king, it was discovered that the Jews of England, 
by common accord, had killed this innocent boy by 
crucifixion, after having beaten him for several days. 
Later, the mother of the said boy pressed upon the king 
her accusation of those guilty of the death, and God, the 
Lord of Vengeance, meted out to them retribution 
according to their deserts. For on the feast of St. 
Clement, eighteen of the richest and greatest of the 
Jews of Lincoln were drawn to new gallows, prepared 
for them, and left to the winds. And in the Tower of 
London sixty more were kept in prison, expecting the 
same fate. 

1256. At this same time, certain Jews, infamous by 
reason of the unhappy death of the boy crucified at 
Lincoln, found guilty by the oath of twenty-five knights, 
and condemned to death, lay in prison, to the number 
of three score and eleven, in order that they might 
be hanged. They sent, as their rivals declare, secret 
messengers to the minorite friars with the view that they 


should intercede for them, that they might be released 
from prison, notwithstanding that they were worthy of 
a most ignominious death. The friars, as the world said 
(if the world is to be believed in such a matter), were 
induced by money to procure the freedom of the Jews 
by their prayers and intercession, from the imprisonment 
and death they had deserved. But in my opinion, it is 
to be believed that the friars acted from piety, guided by 
a spirit of compassion, because, so long as any one is 
alive in this world, he can still use his will, so that there 
is hope of him. But for the devil and for those manifestly 
damned, one can neither hope nor pray, because there is 
no hope for them. Now death and a final sentence had 
irrevocably ensnared them. But this way of looking at 
the matter cannot excuse the friars, nor prevent scandal 
from blackening their character. The people drew back 
their hands from giving them alms as they had before 
done. So it fell out that the devotion of Londoners 
towards the minorites grew lukewarm, just as the charity 
of the Parisians grew cold towards the preachers, who 
there sought to weaken the ancient and approved customs 
of the University. 

In the same year, on the Ides of May, four score and 
eleven Jews were released from the Tower of London, 
where they had lain in fetters, for the crucifixion of 
Saint Hugh, the boy of Lincoln. These Jews, I say, 
were found guilty upon oath, in accordance with the 
statement of the Jew who at the first was hanged at 
Lincoln. 1 

1267. It happened about the Feast of Saint Katherine 
[November 25] in this year, that a dispute arose between 
certain of the craft of the goldsmiths and certain of 
the craft of tailors : to whom adhered, on the one side 

1 Matthew Paris, Chron. Maj., ed. Luard, v. 516-9, 552. A full 
list of authorities is given by Mr. Albert M. Hyamson, "A History 
of the Jews in England," (1908), p. 87. 


and the other, some of the trade of the parmenters 
[dealers in broadcloth] and some of the tawyers [who 
prepared fine leather], which persons held great assem- 
blages, and for three nights together went armed through 
the streets of the City, creating most severe conflicts 
among themselves. Hence, without doubt, as was 
said, more than five hundred of these mischievous 
persons were collected together at night, and in the 
affray many of them were wounded : but still, no one 
would act a part that belongs only to the Bailiffs. For 
every one was waiting by force of arms to take ven- 
geance on his adversary, against the peace and his own 
fealty to his lordship the King : the Bailiffs and discreet 
men of the City understanding which, had more than 
thirty of them seized and imprisoned in Newgate : and 
these, on the Friday next after the Feast of Saint 
Katherine, appeared before Laurence de Broc, the Jus- 
ticiar assigned for gaol delivery, who took proceedings 
against them in the King's behalf, saying that they, 
against the peace and their fealty to his lordship the 
King, had gone armed in the City, and had at night 
wickedly and feloniously wounded some persons, and 
had slain others, whose bodies, it was said, had been 
thrown into the Thames. 

They however denied violence and injury, &c., and 
as to the same put themselves upon the verdict of the 
venue. But on the morrow, those who by the said 
venue were found to have been in the conflict afore- 
said, were, by the judgment of the said Justiciar, 
immediately hanged, although not one among them 
had been convicted of homicide, mayhem, or robbery. 
Hence, one Geoffrey, surnamed " de Beverley," a par- 
menter by trade, because certain of those misdoers had 
armed themselves in his house, and he himself had been 
present with them in arms in the said affray, was hanged, 
together with twelve others who had been indicted, as well 
goldsmiths as parmenters and tawyers. All this however 


was done that others, put in awe thereby, might take 
warning, that so the peace of his lordship the King by 
all within the City might be the more rigidly maintained. 1 

1278. In the month of November in this year all 
Jews throughout England were seized on the same day, 
and imprisoned in London, for clipping the king's 
coin. And the Jews gave information as to very many 
Christians in league with them, and chiefly among the 
more renowned of London. On this occasion two 
hundred and eighty Jews of both sexes were hanged at 
London : in other cities of England a very great 
multitude. The king exacted an immense sum for the 
ransom of the Christians, some of whom also were 
delivered to the gallows. 2 

1284. In this year Bow church, which, as we have 
seen, witnessed a great tragedy in 1196, was once more 
the scene of a terrible affair. It may be told mainly in 
the words of Stow : 

In the year 1284, the i3th of Edward I., Laurence 
Ducket, goldsmith, having grievously wounded one 
Ralph Crepin in Westcheape, fled into Bow church, 
into the which, in the night time, entered certain evil 
persons, friends unto the said Ralph, and slew the said 
Laurence, lying in the steeple, and then hanged him up, 
placing him so by the window as if he had hanged 
himself, and so was it found by inquisition : for the 
which fact Laurence Ducket, being drawn by the feet, 
was buried in a ditch without the City : but shortly 
after, by relation of a boy, who lay with the said 
Laurence at the time of his death, and had hid himself 
there for fear, the truth of the matter was disclosed. 

Wherefore a certain woman, Alice atte Bowe, the 
mistress of Crepin, a clerk, the chief causer of the said 

1 " Liber de Antiquis Legibus," translated by H. T. Riley, 1863, 
pp. 104, 105. Tyburn is not mentioned as the place of execution. 

2 Annals of Dunstable, in Annales Monastici, ed. Luard, iii. 
279. Tyburn is not expressly mentioned. 



mischief, and with her sixteen men, were imprisoned, 
and later, Alice was burnt, and seven were drawn 
and hanged, to wit, Reginald de Lanfar, Robert Pinnot, 
Paul de Stybbenheth, Thomas Corouner, John de Tholo- 
sane, Thomas Russel, and Robert Scott. Ralph Crepin, 
Jordan Godchep, Gilbert le Clerk and Geoffrey le Clerk 
were attainted of the felony and remained prisoners 
in the Tower. The church was placed under an inter- 
dict by the archbishop : the doors and windows stopped 
up with thorns. But the body of Laurence was taken 
from the place where it lay, and given burial by the 
clergy in the churchyard. After a while, the bishop 
of Rochester, by command of the archbishop, removed 
the interdict. 1 

1295. October 6. The Treason of Sir Thomas 

Sir Thomas Turberville, taken prisoner by the French, 
was released in order that he might return to England 
and act as a secret agent for the French government. 
He was detected in corresponding with the Provost 
of Paris, tried and condemned. This was the manner of 
his execution : He came from the Tower, mounted on 
a poor hack, in a coat of ray, and shod with white shoes, 
his head being covered with a hood, and his feet tied 
beneath the horse's belly, and his hands tied before 
him : and around him were riding six torturers attired 
in the form of the devil, one of whom held his rein, and 
the hangman his halter, for the horse which bore him 
had them both upon it : and in such manner was he led 
from the Tower through London to Westminster, and 
was condemned on the dais in the Great Hall there : 
and Sir Robert Brabazun pronounced judgment upon 

1 Chronicles : Annals of Dunstable, in Annal. Monas., ed. Luard, 
iii. 314; Ann. de Wigornia, in Annal. Monas., iv. 489, 490; the 
French Chronicle of London, Riley's translation, 248 ; Stow's 
' Survey of London," ed. Thorns, 96. (Stow gives the number 
hanged as sixteen.) Tyburn is not expressly mentioned, 


him, that he should be drawn and hanged, and that he 
should hang so long as anything should be left whole 
of him : and he was drawn on a fresh ox-hide from 
Westminster to the Conduit of London in Cheapside, 
and then back to the gallows : and there is he hung 
by a chain of iron, and will hang as long as anything 
of him may remain. 1 

Here we have the first mention of drawing on an 
ox-hide, probably at this time generally used in such 
cases. But as shown on p. 28, one of the chroniclers 
expressly says that this method of drawing was adopted 
in the present case in order that the sufferer should 
not die too soon. 

The place of execution is not mentioned. In a foot- 
note Mr. Riley says that it was " probably the Elms 
in West Smithfield," but, as has been shown, the 
probability is all in favour of the Elms of Tyburn. 

1299. Rishanger reports a strange occurrence not 
unconnected with our subject : The King ordered to 
be brought into the Tower of London all the iron 
manacles and chains which could be found in every 
place in England, to an inestimable number, but the 
reason of this was wholly unknown. 2 

1305. August 23. William Wallace drawn from 
Westminster to the Tower and thence to Tyburn, 
where he was hanged and quartered. In treating of 
the punishment for high treason, mention has already 
been made of the manner of carrying out the sentence on 
Wallace, " the man of Belial," as he is constantly called 
in the Chronicles. Wallace was hanged on a very high 
gallows, specially made for the occasion. Edward was 
fond of high gallows. At the siege of Stirling Castle, in 

1 Chron. Bartholomew Cotton, ed. Luard, pp, 304-6. The 
passage in Norman French in the Chronicle is here given as trans- 
lated by Mr. Riley in the French Chronicle of London, 1863, 
p. 295. 

' Chron. Rishanger, ed. Riley, p. 194. 


1300, he caused to be erected two gallows, sixty feet high, 
before the gates of the castle, and swore a great oath 
(jurra graunt serment) that if surrender was not at once 
made, he would hang every one within the castle, were 
he earl, baron, or knight, high or low. "On hearing 
which," says the chronicler, "those within at once 
opened the gates and surrendered to the king, who 
pardoned them." 

The place of execution of Wallace was undoubtedly 
Tyburn. "The Elms" is mentioned in Chronicles of 
the reigns of Edward I. and Edward II., ed. Stubbs, 
i. 141-2. The sentence bore that Wallace's head should 
be exposed on London Bridge. This is the first recorded 
instance of a head being exposed here. 1 In 1283 the 
head of David III. and of his brother Llewellyn were 
fixed on the Tower of London. 2 

1306. Two other executions of Scotch leaders fol- 
lowed, both probably at Tyburn, though the place is 
not expressly mentioned. Symon Frisel [Fraser] was 
brought to London, and then, according to the 
chronicler, drawn, on September 7, from the Tower, 
through the streets to the gallows as traitor, hanged as 
thief, beheaded as murderer ; then his body was hung 
on a gibbet for twenty days, and finally burnt, the head 

1 The authorities for the trial, sentence, and execution of Wallace 
are the following : 

Chron. of the Reigns of Edward I. and Edward III., ed. Stubbs, 
i. 139. 

Year Book of Edward III., years n and 12, 170-3. 

Matthew of Westminster, " Flores Hist.," ed. Luard, iii. 124. 

Chron. Knighton, ed. Lumby i. 404. 

Walsingham, " Ypodigma Neustriae," ed. Riley, p. 235. 

Chron. of William Rishanger, ed. Riley, pp. 225-6. 

Maitland Club, Chron. de Lanercost, p. 203 ; and Documents illus- 
trative of Sir William Wallace. 

2 Annales Monastici, ed. Luard, iv. 294, 489. The treatment under 
Edward I. of " the Celtic fringe " was severe. We see here how 
Scotch and Welsh were dealt with. In Ireland, in 1301, it was 
accounted no offence to kill "a mere Irishman." 


being fixed on a pole upon London Bridge, near the 
head of Wallace. 

The execution of the earl of Athol followed on 
November 7. Edward, grievously ill, found his pains re- 
lieved by learning of the capture of the earl. Athol claimed 
to be of royal lineage. " If he is of nobler blood than 
the other parricides," said Edward, " he shall be hanged 
higher than they." He was carried to London, and con- 
demned at Westminster. Then, as being of royal descent, 
he was not drawn, but rode on horseback to the place of 
execution, where -he was hanged on a gallows fifty feet 
high. Then let down, half alive, so that his torment 
might be greater, very cruelly beheaded (the chronicler 
does not say what was done to make the beheading un- 
usually cruel), then the body was thrown into a fire pre- 
viously kindled in the sight of the sufferer, and reduced 
to ashes. Then the head was placed on London Bridge 
among those of other traitors, but higher than the rest, in 
regard to his royal descent. 1 

1307. In May, John Wallace was brought to London, 
condemned as a traitor and hanged. His head was set 
on London Bridge near that of William Wallace. 2 

1330. Edward III. was but a boy when crowned in 
February, 1327. All power was in the hands of Isabella, 
his mother, queen of the deposed and murdered king, 
Edward II., and of her lover, Roger Mortimer, baron 
of Wigmore and earl of March. For the murder of 
Edward II. the queen-mother and Mortimer are held 
to be specially responsible. In 1329 a powerful con- 
federation was formed to overthrow Mortimer. This 
was for the time defeated, but Edward, now eighteen, 
chafed under his subjection and took counsel with Wil- 
liam de Montacute. It was resolved to seize Mortimer 
in the castle of Nottingham, where, during the session 

1 Matthew of Westminster, " Flores Hist.," ed. Luard, iii. 134-5. 
' Chrons. of the Reigns of Edward I. and Edward II., ed. Stubbs, 
i. 150, 255. Tyburn is not mentioned in either case. 


of Parliament held there, Isabella and her lover lodged. 
Mortimer was well guarded, and it was necessary to bring 
into the confederation Sir William Eland, the governor 
of the castle. He told the confederates of a subterranean 
passage, unknown to Mortimer, and unwatched, through 
which a sufficient force could be introduced. The rest 
of the story may be told in the words of Stow : 

Then, vpon a certaine night, the King lying without 
the castle, both he and his friends were brought by torch 
light through a secret way vnder ground, beginning far 
off from the sayde castle, till they came euen to the 
Queenes chamber, which they by chance found open : 
they therefore being armed with naked swords in their 
hands, went forwards, leauing the King also armed with- 
out the doore of the Chamber, least that his mother 
shoulde espie him : they which entred in, slew Hugh 
Turpinton knight, who resisted them, Master John 
Neuell of Home by giuing him his deadly wound. 
From thence, they went towarde the Queene mother, 
whom they found with the Earle of March readie to haue 
gone to bedde : and hauing taken the sayde Earle, they 
ledde him out into the hall, after whom the Queene fol- 
lowed, crying, Belfilz, belfilz, ayes pitie de gentil Mortimer, 
Good sonne, good sonne, take pittie vpon gentle Mor- 
timer : for she suspected that her sonne was there, though 
shee saw him not. Then are the Keyes of the Castle sent 
for, and euery place with all the furniture is yeelded vp 
into the kings handes, but in such secret wise, that none 
without the Castle, except the kinges friendes, vnder- 
stoode thereof. The next day in the morning verie 
early, they bring Roger Mortimer, and other his friends 
taken with him, with an horrible shout and crying (the 
earle of Lancaster then blind, being one of them that 
made the showt for ioy) towardes London, where 
hee was committed to the Tower, and afterward con- 
demned at Westminster, in presence of the whole Par- 
liament on Saynt Andrewes euen next following, and 

then drawne to the Elmes and there hanged on the 
common Gallowes. Whereon hee hung two dayes and 
two nights by the kinges commaundement, and then 
was buryed in the Gray Fryars Church. 1 

It has been frequently said that Mortimer was the first 
person executed at Tyburn. The French Chronicle of 
London says, " Sir Roger Mortimer, and Sir Symon de 
Bereford, who was of his counsel, were drawn and 
hanged at London " ; and in a note Mr. Riley adds that 
he "is said to have been the first person executed at 
Tyburn, but according to Roger of Wendover, William 
Fitz-Osbert, or Longbeard, was executed there in 1196." 
Dr. Lingard says that Mortimer " was executed at Tyburn, 
the first, as it is said, who honoured with his death that 
celebrated spot." The reader now knows that not only 
Longbeard, but Constantine Fitz-Athulf, had certainly 
been here executed, and also probably others mentioned 
in these Annals. It may be taken for granted that the 
new gallows erected in 1220, and the old gallows replaced 
by them, had not stood idle. In the century and a half 
during which the gallows had stood at Tyburn, hundreds, 
if not thousands of unrecorded executions must have 
taken place here. 2 

1345. The murder of Sir John of Shoreditch. 

Sir John of Shoreditch was a doctor of laws, advocate 

1 Stow, Annals, ed. Howes, 1615, pp. 229, 230. The editions of 
Stow's Annals quoted throughout are this, and the continuation 
to 1631. 

2 Several Chronicles mention Tyburn in connection with the exe- 
cution of Mortimer : " Drawn from the Tower to the Elms and there 
hanged with contumely," Chron. of the Reigns of Edward I. and 
Edward II., ed. Stubbs, i. 352. " Drawn from the Tower of London to 
the gallows at the Elms, about a league outside the City of London, 
and there hanged," Chron. Avesbury, ed. Thompson, p. 285. " Hangyd 
and drawne at Tyburn for tresoun," Chron. Grey Friars, ed. Hew- 

ett, p. 152. " Hanged at the Elms on the common thieves' gallows, 
where he hung two days," Chron. Murimuth, ed. Thompson, p. 62. 
Murimuth was a canon of St. Paul's in 1325 ; he died in 1347. In 
another text (Cotton MS. Nero D. x., in the British Museum) quoted 


and knight, a man of great eminence in his profession. 
This may be inferred from the fact that, in 1343, he was 
sent, with others, as envoy to the Pope to complain of 
papal exactions. 

In the year 1345, writes the chronicler, on the tenth 
of the month of July, Sir John, of the king's council, was 
secretly suffocated by four of his servants at a certain 
house of his near Ware. These four servants, suspected 
and apprehended, confessed their crime, and on the 
eighteenth day of the same month, being the Sunday 
before the festival of St. Margaret, they were in London 
drawn, hanged, and beheaded, and their heads were set 
up on Newgate, on poles. 1 

The punishment thus inflicted was the penalty of petty 
treason, of which they were guilty in killing their master. 
Tyburn is not mentioned as the place of execution. 

1347. The Scotch king, David II., the earl of Fife, 
and the earl of Menteith were captured. Fife and 
Menteith were sent to London and tried. From Calais 
Edward III. sent the judgment to be pronounced on 
these two " traitors and tyrants." In accordance with 
the sentence, Menteith was drawn, hanged, disem- 
bowelled. His head was set on London Bridge, and the 
quarters sent to various parts of England. The sentence 
was not carried out against Fife, as being allied to the 
king in blood. 2 

This is the sentence as given by Rymer : 

Si est agarde q'ils soient Ajuggez Traitres, &, come 

in the Chronicle, it is said : " He was drawn by horses, on the com- 
mon ox-hide, from the Tower of London to the Elms of Tybourne 
and there hanged." 

This last passage is interesting : the expression " the common ox- 
hide " indicates that the ox-hide was now regularly used in drawing. 

The interesting indictment of Mortimer, in Norman French, is 
given in Chron. Knighton, ed. Lumby, i. 454-8. 

1 Chron. Murimuth, ed. Thompson, p. 171. 

2 Chron. Murimuth, ed. Thompson, p. 253 ; Rymer, " Foedera," 
v. 549-50- 


Traitres & Tirantz atteintz, Traynez, Penduz, Decolez, & 
lour Corps Quartirez, & lour Chiefs mys sur le Fount de 
Loundres, & les Quarters mys a les Quatre Principals 
Villes du North (c'est assaver) a Everwyk, Noef Chastel 
sur Tyne, Kardoil, and Berewyk, de les y pendre haut par 
Cheines, en ensample & terrour des Traitres & Tirantz 
celles Parties. Tyburn is not mentioned. 

1377. Sir John Menstreworth, accused of embezzling 
from the king large sums allotted to him for the pay of 
soldiers, fled to France. 

About this time (April), writes the chronicler, was cap- 
tured Sir John Menstreworth, a traitorous knight, who 
had fled to Pamplona, a city of Navarre. Brought to 
London, he was first drawn, then hanged : finally his 
body was divided into four quarters, which were sent to 
four principal cities of England ; and his head was fixed 
on London Bridge, where it remained for a long time. 1 

1386. And that yere the goode man at the sygne at 
the Cocke in Chepe, at the Lyttyll Condyte, was mor- 
theryd in hys bedde be nyght, and therefore hys wyffe 
was brente, and iiij of hys men were hangyd at Tyborne. 2 

The Grey Friars Chronicle says that three servants 
were drawn and hanged. This is the record of a terrible 
judicial error. The Chronicles tell the story, some under 
the year 1386, some under 1391. We may suppose that 
the dates are those respectively of the commission of the 
crime and the discovery of the real criminal. Stow thus 
tells the whole story in his " Summary," ed. 1598 : 

The good man of the Cocke in Cheap at the little 
conduit was murdered in the night time by a thiefe 
that came in at a gutter window, as it was knowne long 
after by the same thiefe, when he was at the gallowes to 
be hanged for felonie, but his wife was burnt therefore, 
and three of his men drawne to Tiburne, and there 

1 Walsingham, " Hist. Anglic.," ed. Riley, i. 326 ; Chron. Angliae 
ed. Thompson, p. 399. Tyburn is not expressly mentioned. 
3 Gregory's Chronicle, p. 93. 


hanged wrongfully. One of the old chroniclers, after 
telling the story, adds, " and that was ruth." What more 
can be said in presence of such a calamity ? 

1388. The struggle for power under the rule of the 
boy-king, Richard II., ended in the utter rout of one of 
the two factions. " Appealed of treason " by their suc- 
cessful rivals, the archbishop of York, the duke of Ireland, 
and the duke of Suffolk, sought safety in flight. Let 
Stow tell the fate of chief justice Tresilian, of Nicholas 
Brembre, the City chief of the vanquished faction, and 
of others of less note. The end of Tresilian has a curious 
resemblance to that, three hundred years later, of another 
great lawyer, lord chancellor Jeffreys. Each had con- 
ducted a bloody judicial campaign. After the suppres- 
sion of the revolt of the peasants, Tresilian had sentenced 
to death John Ball, and, as averred by an old chronicler, 
had condemned every one brought before him, whether 
guilty or not. Tresilian, like Jeffreys, was captured in a 
disguise. Here, indeed, the parallel ends. Jeffreys died 
a prisoner in the Tower, and thus escaped the doom of 
Tresilian. This is Stow's narrative : 

The foresaid Lords being fled as is aforesaide, Robert 
Trisilian a Cornishman, Lord chiefe Justice to the King, 
had hid himselfe in an Apothecaries house in the Sanc- 
tuary neere to the gate of Westminster, where he might 
see the Lords going to the Parliament, and comming 
forth thereby to learne what was done, for all his life 
time he did all things closely, but now his craft being 
espied was turned to great folly. For on Wednesday the 
seuenteenth of February he was betraied of his owne 
seruant, & about eleuen of the clocke beforenoone, being 
taken by the Duke of Glocester, and in the Parliament 
presented, so that the same day in the after noone hee 
was drawne to Tyborne from the Tower of London 
through the Citie, & there had his throat cut and his 
bodie was buried in the gray Friers Church at London. 
This man had disfigured himselfe, as if he had beene a 


poore weake man, in a frize coat, all old & torne, and 
had artificially made himselfe a long beard, such as they 
called a Paris beard, and had defiled his face, to the 
end hee might not bee knowen but by his speach. On 
the morrow, was executed sir Nicholas Brembar, who 
had done many oppressions, & caused seditions in the 
Citie, of whom it was saide, y l whilest he was in full 
authoritie of Maioralitie, hee caused a common payre of 
Stockes in euery ward, and a common Axe to be made 
to behead all such as should bee against him, and it was 
further said, that hee had indited 8000. & more of the 
best and greatest of the Citie, but it was said that the said 
Nicholas was beheaded with the same Axe hee hadde 
prepared for other : this man if hee hadde liued, hadde 
beene created Duke of Troy, or of London by the name 
of Troy. 

On the fourth of March Thomas Vske, Undershriue 
of London, & lohn Blake Esquire, one of the kings 
household, were drawne from the Tower to Tyborne and 
there hanged and beheaded, the head of Thomas Vske 
was set vp ouer Newgate, to the opprobry of his parents, 
which inhabited thereby. 

Also on the 12. of May ... Sir lohn Bernes knight of 
the kings Court a lustie young man, was in the same 
place [Tower hill] beheaded, sir lohn Salisburie knight 
was drawne from the Tower to Tyborne and there 

Some of the accounts state that Brembre was hanged 
at Tyburn, but Knighton says that he was beheaded on 
Tower Hill, the king having stipulated with Parliament 
that he should not be drawn nor hanged. Walsingham 
says that Little Troy was the new name intended to be 
given by Brembre to London. 1 

1 Stow, Annals, 303, 304 ; Chronicles of London, C. L. Kingsford, 
1905, pp. 16, 17 ; Chron. Knighton, ii. p. 293 ; Walsingham, Hist. 
Ang., ii. 173-4. 


1399. In this year took place several executions for 
the murder of the Duke of Gloucester at Calais. John 
Hall was charged with having kept the door of the room 
when the Duke was done to death by being smothered 
in a feather-bed. On October zyth " the lordes were 
examyned what peyne the same John Halle hadde 
desyrved ffor his knowyng off the deeth off the Duk off 
Gloucestre : and the lordes seyden, that he were worthy 
the moste grete peyne and penaunce that he myght 
have. And so the Juggement was that the same John 
Halle shulde be drawe ffro the Tour off London to 
Tyborne, and ther his bowelles shulde be brent and 
affterwarde he shulde be hangid and quarterid and 
byhedid. And his heede y-brouht to the same place, 
wher the Duk off Gloucestre was murdred." 1 

1400. After the deposition of Richard II. and the 
coronation of Henry IV. a conspiracy was formed to 
surprise Henry at a tournament to be held at Windsor 
in December, 1399. The plot was made known by the 
Earl of Rutland, one of the conspirators. Henry 
collected an army in London, and set out for the 
rebels' camp near Windsor. The rebels retreated to 
Cirencester, where they were overthrown. According to 
the Chronicle of London (1827), Sir Thomas Blount, 
Sir Bennet Shelley, Thomas Wyntreshull, and about 
twenty-seven others, were executed at Oxford. " After- 
wards was taken Sr. Bernard Brocas, Sr. Thomas 
Schelley, Maudelyn parson, Sr. William Fereby prest : 
and there were drawen, hanged, and beheded at 
Tyborne." There is, however, great confusion in 
the various accounts. The Grey Friars Chronicle, for 
instance, says that Sir Bernard Brocas was beheaded in 
Cheapside. In Chroniques de Waurin, and in a manu- 
script in the Bibliotheque Nationale, is a long account of 
the execution of Sir Thomas Blount. Reference has 
sometimes been made to it as illustrating the cruelty of 

1 Chrons. of London, Kingsford, 1905, p. 55. 


the times. Cruel enough they were : so cruel that there 
existed no need to overcharge a narrative. But this 
account of the execution is clearly in great part a work 
of imagination. Sir Thomas is represented as sitting, 
disembowelled, near the fire in which his bowels had 
been burnt, and in this condition he holds a long con- 
versation with Sir Thomas Erpingham. Finally, the 
executioner asks Sir Thomas whether he would like to 
drink. Sir Thomas replies, "Nennil, car je ne le scauroye 
ou mettre." * 

The partisans "of the deposed Richard refused to believe 
that he was dead : 

1402. In the meane time while the kyng was thus 
occupied in Wales, certain malicious and cruel persons 
enuiyng and malignyng in their heartes that king Henry 
contrary to the opinion of many, but against the will of 
mo had so shortely obteigned and possessed the realme 
and regalitie, biased abrode & noised daily amongest 
the vulgare people that kyng Richard (whiche was openly 
sene dead) was yet liuying and desired aide of the com- 
mon people to repossesse his realme and roiall dignitie. 
And to the furtheraunce of this fantasticall inuencion 
partly moued with indignacion, partely incensed with 
furious malencolie, set vpon postes and caste aboute the 
stretes railyng rimes, malicious meters and tauntyng 
verses against King Henry and his proceedynges. He 
beyng netteled with these vncurteous ye vnuertuous 
prickes & thornes, serched out the authours, and 
amongest other were found culpable of this offence and 
crime, sir Roger Claryngdon knight, and eight gray 

1 Authorities : Chronicle of London (1827), p. 36 ; I. Julius B II. 
in Chronicles of London (C. L. Kingsford, 1905), pp. 62-3 ; Gregory's 
Chron. (Camden Society, 1876), p. 102 ; Grey Friars Chron., ed. How- 
lett, p. 161 ; Chroniques de Waurin, ed. Hardy, vol. ii. pp. 41-3 ; 
Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits, &c., tome i , Paris, 1787. Eng- 
lish translation, 1789. 


Friers whiche according to their merites and desertes 
were strangeled at Tiborne and there put in execution. 1 

Walter de Baldocke, formerly Prior of Laund in 
Leicestershire, a ninth minorite friar, and a servant of 
Sir Roger, were also executed. 2 

1404. The olde Countesse of Oxford, mother to Robert 
de Vere Duke of Ireland did cause such as were familiar 
with her, to brute throughout all the parts of Essex, that 
king Richard was aliue, and that he should shortely come 
& chalenge his olde estate and dignitie. She caused 
many harts of silver, and some of golde to be made for 
badges, such as king Richard was wont to bestowe on 
his knights, Esquiers & friends, that distributing them 
in the kings name, she might the sooner allure the 
knights, and other valiant men of the Countrey, to be at 
her will and desire. 

Also the fame and brute which daily was blazed abroad 
by one William Serle, sometimes of K. Richards cham- 
ber, that the same King Richard was in Scotland, and 
tarryed with a power of French & Scottishmen, caused 
many to beleeue that he was aliue. This William Serle 
had forged a priuie Scale in the said Richards name, and 
had sent diuers comfortable letters vnto such as were 
familiar with K. Richard, by which meanes, many gaue 
the greater credit to the Countesse, insomuch, that some 
religious Abbots of that country did giue credit vnto her 
tales who afterward were taken at the Kings com- 
maundement and imprisoned, because they did beleeue 
and giue credit to the Countesse in this behalfe, and the 
Countesse had all her goods confiscate, and was com- 
mitted to close prison : and William Serle, was drawn 
from pomfret, through the chiefest Citties of England, 
and put to death at London.s 

1 Hall's Chronicle, ed. 1809, p. 26. 

2 Walsingham, " Hist. Anglic.," ed. Riley, ii. 249. 

3 Stow, Annals, 330. Here again Gregory's Chronicle supplies 
the place of execution Tyburn (p. 104). 


1424. The Parliament sitting in this year " ordained 
that what prysoner for grand or petty treason was com- 
mitted to ward, & after wilfully brake or made an escape 
from the same, it should bee deemed pettie treason." Sir 
John Mortimer lay in the Tower, accused of diver points of 
treason. " Which John Mortimer, after the statute afore- 
said escaped out of the tower, and was taken againe vpon 
the tower wharfe sore beaten and wounded, and on the 
morrowe brought to Westminster, and by the authoritie 
of the said parliament, hee was drawne to Tyburne, hanged 
& headed." (Stow, Annals, p. 365.) Stow refers to Hall, 
who says : "In" the tyme of which Parliament also, 
whether it were, either for deserte or malice, or to auoyde 
thynges that might chaunce, accordyng to a prouerbe, 
whiche saith, a dead man doth no harme : Sir lohn 
Mortimer . . . was attainted of treason and put to execu- 
tion : of whose death no small slaunder arose emongest 
the common people." 1 

1427. Ande that same yere a theffe that was i-callyd 
Wille Wawe was hangyd at Tyborne (Gregory's 
Chronicle, p. 161). 

Insignificant as this record appears, it is really of great 
interest. As the present annals show, ordinary crimes 
and their punishment received little or rather no attention 
from the chroniclers. We have now traversed two and 
a half centuries since the first recorded execution that we 
can put to the account of Tyburn. We have found but 
one case, that of the terrible tragedy of the murdered 
cook of Chepe, and the judicial error resulting in the 
execution of four or five innocent persons, in which the 
actors or sufferers were of humble rank. Gregory's 
Chronicle is supposed to have been written by William 
Gregory, skinner, mayor of London. It is certain that 

1 Stow, Annals, p. 365 ; Hall's Chronicle, ed. 1809, p. 128. 

Stow evidently took his account of Mortimer from a chronicle 
which has been printed only quite lately in Chronicles of London. 
C. L. Kingsford, 1905, pp. 282-3, 341-2. 


the author was a citizen of London. Being this, the 
phases of daily life in London would naturally have for 
him a greater interest than for the monk who looked on 
the world from the scriptorium of his monastery. To 
the fact that Gregory was a citizen of London we doubt- 
less owe this notice too brief of Wille Wawe. The 
hanging of thieves was too common to attract attention. 
We shall admit the probability that Wille was distin- 
guished from the rest of his tribe by superior daring or 
success : had he, perhaps, robbed the author of the 
Chronicle ? 

1437. Also the same yere on William Goodgrom, 
of London, corsour, for scleynge of a man of court in 
Hosyere Lane be syde Smythfeld, was hangen at 
Tybourne (Chronicle of London, 1827, p. 123.) . 

A coursour, or courser, was a dealer in horses. (Riley, 
" Memorials of London and London Life," p. 366 and 

1441. Roger Bolinbrooke, a great Astronomer, with 
Thomas Southwell, a Chanon of Saynt Stephens Chappell 
at Westminster, were taken as conspiratours of the Kings 
death, for it was said, that the same Roger shoulde labour 
to consume the kings person by way of Negromancie, & the 
said Thomas should say Masses in the lodge of Harnesey 
park beside London, upon certaine instruments, with the 
which the said Roger should vse his craft of Negromancie, 
against the faith, and was assenting to the said Roger, 
in all his workes. And the 5. and twentith day of July 
being Sun-day, Roger Bolinbrooke, with all his instru- 
ments of Negromancie, that is to say, a chayre paynted 
wherein he was wont to sit, vppon the 4. corners of which 
chayre stoode foure swords, and vppon euery sword an 
image of copper hanging, with many other instruments : 
hee stoode on a high Scaffolde in Paules Churchyard, 
before y e crosse, holding a sword in his right hand, 
and a scepter in his left, arrayed in a maruellous 
attire, and after the Sermon was ended by maister Low 


Byshop of Rochester, he abiured all articles longing to 
the crafte of Negromancie or missowning to the faith, 
in presence of the Archb. of Canterbury, the Cardinall of 
Winchester, the byshop of London, Salisbury and many 

On the Tuesday next following, dame Elianor Cobham, 
daughter to Reginald Cobham Lord of Stirbrough : 
Dutchesse of Glocester fledde by night into the Sanctuary 
at Westminster, which caused her to be suspected of 

In the meane time Roger Bolinbrooke, was examined 
before the Kings Counsaile, where he confessed that he 
wrought the saide Negromancie at the stirring and pro- 
curement of the said Dame Elianor, to know what should 
befall of her, and to what estate she should come, 
whereuppon shee was cited to appeare before Henry 
Chicheley, Archbishop of Canterbury. Henry Beaufort 
bishoppe of Winchester Cardinall : lohn Kempe Archb. 
of Yorke Cardinall : William Ascothe bishop of Salis- 
burie, & other in Saynt Stephens Chappell at West- 
minster, there to answere to certaine Articles in number 
28. of Negromancie, witch-crafte, sorcerie, heresie, and 
treason, where when shee appeared, the foresaide Roger 
was brought forth to witnes against her, and said, that 
shee was cause and first stirred him to labour in the sayd 
Art. Then on the n. of August, shee was committed to 
the ward of Sir John Steward, Sir William Wolfe Knights, 
lohn Stanley Esquier, and other, to be conueyed to the 
Castle of Leedes, there to remaine till 3. weekes after 

Shortly after a commission was directed to the Earles 
of Huntington, Stafford, Suffolke and Northumberland, 
the treasurer sir Ralph Cromwall, lohn Cornwall, Lord 
Fanhope, sir Walter Hungerforde, and to certaine Judges 
of both Benches, to enquire of all manner of treasons, 
sorceries, & other things that might be hurtfull to the 
Kings person, before whome the sayde Roger, and 



Thomas Southwell, as principals, and Dame Elianor as 
accessary, were indicted of treason in the Guilde Hall of 

There was taken also Margery Gurdemaine a witch of 
Eye besides Westminster, whose sorcerie and witchcrafte 
the said Elianor hadde long time vsed, and by her medi- 
cines & drinkes enforced the Duke of Glocester to loue 
her, and after to wedde her, wherefore, and for cause of 
relapse, the same Witch was brent in Smithfield, on the 
twentie-seauen day of October. 

The 21. of October, in the Chappell beforesaid, before 
the Byshops, of London Robart Gilbart, of Lincolne, 
William Alnewike, of Norwich Thomas Brouns, the 
sayde Elianor appeared, and Adam Molins Clarke of the 
Kinges Counsell read certaine articles obiected against her 
of Sorcerie and Negromancy, whereof some shee denyed, 
and some shee granted. 

The three and twentith of October Dame Elianor ap- 
peared againe, and witnesses were brought forth and 
examined : and she was conuict of the saide Articles : 
then was it asked if she would say any thing against the 
witnesses, whereunto shee answered nay, but submitted 
her selfe. The 27. day of October shee abiured the 
articles, & was adioyned to appeare againe the ninth of 
Nouember. In the meane tyme, to wit, on the 26. of 
October Thomas Southwell dyed in the Tower of 
London, as himselfe had prophesied that he should 
neuer die by Justice of the Law. 

The 9. of November Dame Elianor appeared before 
the Archbyshop & other, in the sayde Chappell, and 
receiued her penance, which shee perfourmed. 

On Monday the 13. of November, she came from 
Westminster by water, and landed at the Temple bridge, 
from whence with a taper of waxe of 2. pound in her 
hand, she went through Fleetestreete, hoodlesse (saue a 
Kerchefe) to Pauls, where shee offered her taper at the high 
Altar. On the Wednesday next shee landed at the Swan 


in Thamis streete, and then went through Bridge-streete, 
Grace church streete, straight to Leaden Hall, & so to 
Christ church by Aldegate. On Friday she landed at 
Queene Hiue, and so went through Cheape to Saynt 
Michaels in Cornehill, in forme aforesaid : at all which 
times the Maior, Sherifes, & crafts of London, receiued 
her and accompanied her. This beeing done shee was 
committed to the ward of sir Thomas Stanley, wherein shee 
remained during her life in the castle of Chester, hauing 
yeerely 100. markes assigned for her finding, in the 22. of 
Henry the sixt, shee was remoued to Kenil worth, there to 
be safely kept whose pride, false, couetise, and lechery, 
were cause of her confusion. 

The 1 8. of November Roger Bolingbroke, with Sir 
lohn Hum priest, & William Woodham Esquier, were 
arraigned in the Guildhal of London, where the said lohn 
and William hadde their Charters, but Roger Boling- 
broke was condemned, and had iudgement of Sir lo. 
Hody, Chiefe Justice of the Kings Bench, and the same 
day he was drawne from the Tower to Tyborne and there 
hanged and quartered : and when the said Roger should 
suffer, he sayd that he was neuer guilty of any treaso 
against the Kings person, but he had presumed too far 
in his cunning, whereof he cryed God mercy : and the 
Justice that gaue on him iudgement liued not long after. 1 

1446. lohn Dauid appeached his master William 
Catur, an armorer dwelling in S. Dunstons parish in 
Fleetstreet, of treason, & a day being assigned them to 
fight in Smithfield, y e master being welbeloued, was so 
cherished by his friends & plied so w h wine, that being 
therwith ouercome was also vnluckely slaine by his 
seruant : but that false seruant (for he falsely accused his 
master) liued not long vnpunished, for he was after 
hanged at Tyborne for felony (Stow, p. 385). 

1 Stow, Annals, ed. Howes, 1615, pp. 381-2. 

The " Swan " in Thames Street became the " Old Swan " (it is so 
called in Braun and Hogenberg's map), and still retains the name. 


Shakespeare has taken this incident for a scene in the 
Second Part of King Henry VI. Act 2, sc. 3, where the 
armourer is called Horner, and his servant Peter. In 
the play, Horner, smitten to death, is made to confess 
his treason. 

1447. And a-non aftyr the dethe of the Duke of 
Glouceter there were a reste [arrested] many of the sayde 
dukys [servants] to the nombyr of xxxviij squyers, 
be-syde alle othyr servantys that nevyr ymagenyd no 
falsenys of the [that] they were put a-pon of. And on 
Fryday the xiiij day of Juylle nexte folowynge by 
jugement at Westemyster, there by fore v personys were 
dampnyd to be drawe, hanggyd, and hyr bowellys 
i-brente be fore hem, and thenne hyr heddys to be 
smetyn of, ande thenne to be quarteryde, and every parte 
to be sende unto dyvers placys by assygnement of the 
jugys. Whyche personys were thes : Arteys the bastarde 
of the sayde Duke of Glouceter, Syr Rogger Chambyr- 
layne knyght, Mylton squyer, Thomas Harberde squyer, 
Nedam yeman, whyche were the sayde xiiij day of Juylle 
i-drawe fro Syn Gofgys thoroughe owte Sowthewerke 
and on Londyn Brygge, ande so forthe thorowe the cytte 
of London to the Tyborne, and there alle they were hang- 
gyde, and the ropys smetyn a-sondyr, they beynge alle 
lyvynge, and thenne, ar any more of any markys of 
excecusyon were done, the Duke of Sowthefolke brought 
them alle yn generalle pardon and grace from our lorde 
and soverayne Kynge Harry the vj'V 

1455. Also this yere was a grete affray in London 
agaynst the Lombardes. The cawse began of a yong 
man that took a Dagger from a straunger and broke it. 

1 Gregory's Chron., p. 188. Stow adds, "but y e yeoman of y e 
crowne had their liuelode, and the hangman had their cloths, or 
wearing apparrell. The Pardon for Hues was obtained through the 
earnest sute and labor of master Gilbert Worthington, then parson 
of S. Andrewes in Hoi born a doctor of Diuinity a famous man and 
a greate preacher in those daies (p. 386). 


Wherefore the yong man was sent for vnto the Mair and 
Aldermen beyng at Guyldehall, and there by theym he 
was commytted for his offence to One of the Countours : 
and then the mair departyng from the hall toward his 
mancion to dyner, in Chepe met with him a grete 
company of yong men of the Mercery, as Apprentices 
and other lowse men : and taried the Mair and the 
Sheriffes still in Chepe, not suffryng hym to depart till 
they had their ffelow, beyng in pryson, as is aforsaid, 
delyuered : and so by force delyuered their felaw oute of 
pryson. Wherevpon the same evenyng the hand crafty- 
men Ranne vnto the lombardes howsys, and Robbyd 
and dispoilid Dyuers of theym. Wherfor the Mair and 
Shyreffes, with thassistence of good and weldisposed 
people of the Cite, with greate Jubardy and labour Drove 
theym thens, and commytted some of theym that had 
Robbid to Newgate. Whervpon the yong man, which 
was rescoed by his feloship, seying the greate rumour 
folowyng vpon his occasion Departed and went to 
Westm', and ther abode as sayntuary man : Wherby he 
saved his lyf. ffor anone vpon this came down an Oye 
determyne, for to do Justice vpon alle theym that soo 
had Rebellid in the Cyte : vpon which sat that tyme 
with the Mayr the Duke of Bokyngham with dyuers 
other grete lordes, for to see Execucion doon. But the 
Comons of the Cyte did arme theym secretely in their 
howses, and were in purpos to haue Rungyn the Comon 
Bell, callid Bowe Bell : But they were lette by sadde and 
weladuysed men, which when it come to the knowleyge 
of the Duke of Bokyngham and other lordes their beyng 
with hym, they Incontynently arose, feryng longer to 
abyde : for it was shewed to theym that all the Cite 
wold arise vpon theym. But yet notwithstondyng in 
Conclusion ij or iij mysdoers of the Cite were adjuged 
for the Robbery, And were hanged at Tybourne : and 
this doon the kyng and the quene and other lordes Rood 
to Coventre, and with drewe theym from London for 


these cawsis (Chronicles of London (Kingsford) 1905, 
pp. 166, 167). 

1467. Alle soo that same yere there were many 
chyrchys robbyd in the cytte of London only of the 
boxys with the sacrament. And men had moche 
wondyr of thys, and sad men demyd that there had ben 
sum felyschippe of heretykys assocyat to gederys. But 
hyt was knowe aftyr that it was done of very nede that 
they robbyd, wenyng unto the thevys that the boxys 
hadde ben sylvyr ovyr gylt, but was but copyr. And by 
a copyr smythe hit was a spyde of hyr longe contynuans 
in hyr robbory. At a tyme, alle the hole feleschippe of 
thevys sat at sopyr to gedyr, and had be fore hem fulle 
goode metys. But that copyr smythe sayde, " I wolde 
have a more deynty mosselle of mete, for I am wery of 
capon, conynge, and chekyns, and such smalle metes. 
And I mervyl I have ete ix goddys at my sopyr that were 
in the boxys." And that schamyd sum of them in hyr 
hertys. Ande a smythe of lokyers crafte, that made 
hyr instrumentes to opyn lockys, was ther that tyme, for 
hyt was sayed at the sopyr in hys howse. And in the 
mornynge he went to chyrche to hyre a masse, and 
prayde God of marcy ; but whenn the pryste was at the 
levacyon of the masse he myght not see that blessyd 
sacrament of the auter. Thenn he was sory, and a bode 
tylle a nothyr pryste wente to masse and helpyd the 
same pryste to masse, and say [saw] howe the oste lay 
a-pon the auter and alle the tokyns and sygnys that the 
pryste made ; but whenn the pryste hylde uppe that hooly 
sacrament at the tyme of levacyon he myght se no 
thynge of that blessyd body of Chryste at noo time of 
the masse, not somoche at Agnus Dei; and thenn he 
demyd that hit had ben for febyllenys of hys brayne. 
And he went unto the ale howse and dranke a ob. [a 
halfpennyworth] of goode alle, and went to chyrche 
agayne, and he helpyd iij moo prystys to masse, and in 
no maner a wyse he ne myght se that blessyd sacrament ; 


but then bothe he and hys feleschyppe lackyd grace. And 
in schorte tyme aftyr iiij of hem were take, and the same 
lokyer was one of y e iiij, and they were put in Newegate. 
And by processe they were dampnyd for that trespas and 
othyr to be hangyd and to be drawe fro Newegate to 
Tyborne, and soo they were. And the same daye that 
they shulde dy they were confessyd. And thes iiij 
docters were hyr confessourys, Mayster Thomas 
Eberalle, Maystyr Hewe Damylett, Maystyr Wylliam 
Ive, and Maystyr Wylliam Wryxham. Thenn Mayster 
Thomas Eberalle wente to masse, and that lokyer aftyr 
hys confessyon myght see that blessyd sacrament welle 
i-nowe, and thenne rejoysyd and was gladde, and made 
an opyn confessyon by fore the iiij sayde docters of 
devynyte. And I truste that hyr soulys ben savyd. 1 

1468. That yere were meny men a pechyd of treson, 
bothe of the cytte and of othyr townys. Of the cytte 
Thomas Coke, knyght and aldyrman, and John Plum- 
mer, knyght and aldyrman, but the kyng gave hem bothe 
pardon. And a man of the Lorde Wenlockys, John 
Haukyns was hys name, was hangyd at Tyburne and 
be heddyd for treson. 2 

1495. The 22. of Februarie were arraigned in 
Guildhall at London foure persons, to witte, Thomas 
Bagnall, lohn Scot, Ihon Hethe, and lohn Kenington, 
the which were Sanctuarie men of Saint Martin le grand 
in London, and lately before taken thence, for forging 
seditious libels, to the slander of the King, and some 
of his Councell : for the which three of them were 
adiudged to die, & the fourth named Bagnall, pleaded 
to be restored to sanctuary : by reason whereof he was 
repriued to the Tower till the next terme, and on the 26 

1 Gregory's Chronicle, pp. 234-5. Here again it is to the 
citizen of London that we owe this curious illustration of the life 
of the times. 

2 Gregory's Chronicle ("Camden Soc.," 1876), pp. 236-7. Lord 
Wenlock was killed in the battle of Tewkesbury. 


of February the other three with a Flemming, and 
Robert Bikley a yeoman of the Crown were all fiue 
executed at Tyborne (Stow, ed. Howes, p. 479). 

1483. December 4. Four yeomen of the Crown 
were drawn from South wark to Tyburn, and "there 
were hanged all" (Chronicle of London, Kingsford, 
1905, p. 192). 

1495. In this year Perkin Warbeck, a pretender, 
"A yoongman, of visage beautifull, of countenance de- 
mure, of wit subtil," made a descent on the English 
coasts : But Perken would not set one foote out of his 
Shippe, till he sawe all thinges sure ; yet he permitted 
some of his Souldiours to goe on lande, which being 
trained forth a prettie way from their Shippes, and seeing 
they coulde haue no comfort of the Countrey, they with- 
drew againe to their Shippes : at which withdrawing, 
the Maior of Sandwich, with certaine commons of the 
Countrey, bikered with the residue that were vppon 
lande, and tooke aliue of them 169. persons, among the 
which were fiue Captaines Mountfort, Corbet, White 
Belt, Quintin & Genine. And on the twelfth of Julie, 
Syr lohn Pechy, Sheriffe of Kent, bought vnto London 
bridge those 169. persons, where the Sheriffes of London, 
Nicholas Alwine and lohn Warner receiued and conueied 
them, railed in robes like horses in a cart, vnto the 
tower of London, and to Newgate, and shortlie after to 
the number of 150. were hanged about the sea coasts in 
Kent, Essex, Sussex, and Norffolke ; the residue were 
executed at Tiborne and at Wapping in the Whose 
besides London ; and Perken fled into Flanders (Stow, 
ed. Howes, p. 479). 

1499. Perkyn (of whome rehersall was made before) 
beyng now in holde, coulde not leaue with the destruc- 
cion of him selfe, and confusion of other that had 
associate them selfes with him, but began now to study 
which way to flye & escape. For he by false per- 
suasions and liberall promises corrupted Strangweyes, 


Blewet, Astwood and long Rogier hys kepers, beynge 
seruantes to syr Ihon Dygby, lieutenaunt. In so muche 
that they (as it was at their araynment openly proued) 
entended to haue slayn the sayde Master, and to haue 
set Perkyn and the Erie of Warwyke at large ; which 
Erie was by them made preuy of this enterprice, & 
thereunto (as all naturall creatures loue libertie) to his 
destruccion assented. But this craftie deuice and subtil 
imagination, beyng opened and disclosed, sorted to none 
effect, and so he beyng repulsed and put back from all 
hope and good lucke with all hys complices and confede- 
rates, and Ihon Awater sometyme Mayre of Corffe in 
Ireland, one of his founders, and his sonne, were the 
sixten daye of Nouembre arreyned and comdempned at 
Westmynster. And on the thre and twenty daye of the 
same moneth, Perkyn and Ihon Awater were drawen to 
Tyborne, and there Perkyn standyng on a little skaffolde, 
redde hys confession, which before you haue heard, and 
toke it on hys death to be true, and so he and Ihon 
Awater asked the kyng forgeuenes and dyed paciently. 
(Hall's Chron., ed. 1809, p. 491). 

1497. Henry had prepared "a puissaunt and vigorious 
army to inuade Scotland," when domestic troubles 
arose : " When the lord Dawbeney had his army 
assembled together and was in his iourney forward into 
Scotlande, he sodeinly was stayed and reuoked agayne, 
by reason of a newe sedicion and tumult begonne within 
the realme of England for the subsedy whiche was 
graunted at the last parliament for the defence of the 
Scottes with all diligence and celeritee, whiche of the 
moost parte was truely satisfied and payde. But the 
Cornish men inhabityng the least parte of the realme, 
and thesame sterile and without all fecunditee, com- 
pleyned and grudged greatly amrmyng that they were not 
hable to paye suche a greate somme as was of theim 
demaunded. And so, what with angre, and what with 
sorrowe, forgettynge their due obeysaunce, began ne 


temerariously to speake of the kyng him selfe. And after 
leuyng the matter, lamentyng, yellyng, & criyng 
maliciously, sayd, that the kyngs counsayll was the cause 
of this polling and shauing. And so beyng in aroare, 
ii. of thesame affinitee, the one Thomas Flamocke, 
gentleman, learned in the lawes of the realme, and 
theother Mighell Joseph a smyth, men of high courages 
and stoute stomackes, toke vpoh theim to be captaynes 
of this vngracious flocke and sedicious company. . . . 
These capiteynes exhorted the common people to put on 
harneys, & not to be afearde to folowe theim in this 
quarell, promisyng theim that they shoulde do no damage 
to any creature, but only to se ponyshement and correc- 
cion done to such persons which were the aucthors & 
causers that the people were molested and vexed with 
such vnreasonable exaccions and demaunds." The rebels 
marching towards London, "the kyng perceauyng the 
cyuile warre to approche & drawe nerer & nerer, 
almost to his very gates, determined with all his whole 
powre to resist and represse thesame. . . . Wherfore he 
reuoked agayn the lord Dawbeney which as you have 
heard, was with a puyssaunt army goyng into Scotland, 
whose army he encreaced and multiplied with many 
picked and freshe warryers, that he might the better, and 
with lesse laboure ouercome these rebelles. 

At Wells the rebels were joined by Lord Audley, who 
became their leader. They reached Blackheath where, 
although they captured Lord Dawbeney himself, they 
were overcome. "There were slain of the rebelles 
whiche fought & resisted ii. thousand men & moo 
& taken prisoners an infinite nombre, & emongest 
theim the black smyth & chiefe capteins." The king 
pardoned all the leaders "sauyng the chiefe capiteynes 
& firste aucthors of that mischiefe, to whome he 
woulde neither shewe mercy nor lenity. For he caused 
the Lord Audeleigh to be drawen from Newgate to the 
Towre hil in a cote of his awne armes peinted vpon 


paper, reuersed and al to torne, & there to be behedded 
the xxviii. day of luyn. And Thomas Flamock and 
Myghell Joseph he commaunded after the fassyon of 
treytours to be drawen, hanged, and quartered [at 
Tyburn], & their quarters to be pytched on stakes, & 
set vp in diuerse places of Cornewhale, that their sore 
punyshementes and terrible execucions for their trey- 
torous attemptes and foolish hardy enterprices, might be 
a warning for other herafter to absteyne from committing 
lyke cryme and offence." 

Michael Joseph, the blacksmith, "was of such stowte 
stomack & haute courage, that at thesame time that he 
was drawen on the herdle toward his death, he sayd (as 
men do reporte) that for this myscheuous and facinorous 
acte, he should haue a name perpetual and a fame 
permanent and immortal" (Hall's Chronicle, ed. 1809, 
pp. 476-80). 

1502. Vpon Monday, beyng the second day of May, 
was kept at the Guyld hall of London an Oyr determyne, 
where sat the Mayre, the Duke of Bokyngham, Therle 
of Oxenford, with many other lordes, Juges, and 
knyghtes, as commyssioners : before whome was pre- 
sented as prisoners to be enquyred of, sir James Tyrell, 
and sir John Wyndam, knyghtes, a Gentilman of the said 
sir James, named Wellesbourn, and one other beyng a 
shipman. . . . Vpon ffriday folowyng, beyng the vj te 
day of May and the morowe after the Ascension of our 
Lord, Sir James Tyrell and the forsaid Sir John Wyndam, 
knyghtes, were brought out of the Toure to the scaffold 
vpon the Toure hill, vpon their ffete, where they were 
both beheded. And the same day was the forsaid 
Shipman laied vpon an herdyll, and so drawen from the 
Toure to Tybourne, and there hanged, hedid, and 
quartered. And the forenamed Wellysbourn Remayned 
still in prison at the kynges commaundment and 
pleasure (Chronicles of London, Kingsford, 1905, 
p. 256). 


1523. About eight miles from Bath is a village, 
Farleigh-Hungerford, known locally as Farleigh Castle 
from the extensive ruins of what was once a proud castle 
full of life and movement. As the name denotes, the 
Castle was the seat one of the seats of the Hungerfqrd 
family, established at Heytesbury so far back as the 
twelfth century. In 1369 the Hungerford of his day, Sir 
Thomas Hungerford, purchased the manor of Farleigh. 
In 1383 he obtained permission to convert the manor- 
house into a castle. Sir Thomas made a great figure in 
the world : he is the first person formally mentioned in 
the rolls of Parliament as holding the office of Speaker. 

Wandering among the vast ruins, the visitor, prompted 
by his guide-book, will not fail to note the spot where 
was formerly a furnace. If there is in all England a 
place where ghosts should walk, where the midnight owl 
should hoot, it is in the ruins of Farleigh Castle. For, 
now nearly four hundred years ago, Farleigh Castle was 
the scene of a terrible crime, expiated, perhaps in part 
only, by the death on the scaffold of one of the principal 
criminals, and of one or two of the abettors of an over- 
reaching ambition, or of a lawless passion. 

In the Chronicle of the Grey Friars is the following 
passage : 

1523. And this yere in Feuerelle the xx th day 
was the lady Alys Hungrford was lede from the Tower 
vn-to Holborne, and there put in-to a carte at the church- 
yerde with one of hare seruanttes, and so carred vn-to 
Tyborne, and there bothe hongyd, and she burryd at the 
Grayfreeres in the nether end of the myddes of the 
churche on the northe syde. 

Stow, who in his Annals has a marginal reference to 
this Chronicle, adds a particular omitted by the earlier 
Chronicler that the lady was executed for the murder of 
her husband. The curiosity of antiquaries was naturally 
excited by this story, half-revealed, half-concealed. The 
first discovery made was of the inventory of the lady's 


goods. This was printed in Archceologia, vol. xxxviii. 
(1860). The goods fell into the hands of the king by 
forfeiture : so it came about that an inventory existed. 
It is a list of plate and jewels, of sumptuous hangings, 
" an extraordinary collection of valuable property." 

Finally more of the story was disclosed by Mr. William 
John Hardy, in the Antiquary of December, 1880. It is 
one of the greatest interest. 

The lady's name is given as Alice, both by the 
chronicler and by Stow in his Annals. Stow also, in a 
list of the monuments in the Grey Friars church, 
mentions one to "Alice Lat Hungerford, hanged at 
Tiborne for murdering her husband" (Survey, ed. 
Thorns, p. 120). 

But the lady's name was not Alice, but Agnes. She 
was the second wife of Sir Edward Hungerford, who was 
first married to Jane, daughter of John Lord Zouche of 
Haryngworth. The date of the death of Sir Edward's 
first wife is not known. If we knew it there might arise 
a new suspicion. Nor do we know the date of Sir 
Edward's second marriage, but it must have been not 
earlier than the latter half of 1518. 

Sir Edward Hungerford was one of the great ones of 
the land. In 1517 he was sheriff for Wilts : in 1518 for 
Somerset and Dorset. In 1520 he was present at the 
Field of the Cloth of Gold. In 1521 he was in Commis- 
sion of the Peace for Somerset. 

We have seen that the original seat of the family was 
at Heytesbury, in Wilts, distant from Farleigh about 
twelve miles, and here Sir Edward commonly lived. In 
addition to Farleigh Castle, Sir Edward possessed a great 
London house, standing with its gardens where now is 
Charing Cross station. From this house were named 
Hungerford Street and Hungerford Stairs. On the site 
of the house and garden was built by a later Hungerford, 
in the reign of Charles II., Hungerford Market, which 
continued till the site was taken for the railway station. 


The foot-bridge over the Thames, starting from this 
point, was known as Hungerford Bridge, a name still 
sometimes given to its successor, the existing railway 
bridge. It was in Hungerford Street that Charles 
Dickens, a child of ten, began life by sticking labels on 
blacking bottles. 

Sir Edward made his will on December 14, 1521. By 
it, after leaving legacies to certain churches and friends, 
"the residue of all my goods, debts, cattails, juells, plate, 
harnesse, and all other moveables whatsoever they be, I 
freely geve and bequeth to Agnes Hungerforde my wife." 
She was also appointed sole executrix. Sir Edward died 
on January 24, 1522, six weeks after making this will. 

The husband murdered was not Sir Edward Hunger- 
ford, but a first husband, John Cotell. The outlines of 
the story are given by Mr. Hardy from the Coram Kege 
Roll for Michaelmas term, 14 Henry VIII. : 

"On the Monday next after the feast of S. Bartholomew, 
in the I4th year of the now king (25 August, 1522), 
at Ilchester, before John Fitz James and his fellow- 
justices of oyer and terminer for the county of Somerset, 
William Mathewe, late of Heytesbury, in the county of 
Wilts, yeoman, William Inges, late of Heytesbury, in the 
county aforesaid, yeoman, [were indicted for that] on the 
26th July, in the loth year of the now Lord the King 
(1518), with force and arms made an assault upon John 
Cotell, at Farley, in the county of Somerset, by the pro- 
curement and abetting of Agnes Hungerford, late of 
Heytesbury, in the county of Wilts, widow, at that time 
the wife of the aforesaid John Cotell. And a certain 
linen scarf called a kerchier (quandam flameam lineam 
vocatam ' a kerchier ') which the aforesaid William and 
William then and there held in their hands, put round 
the neck of the aforesaid John Cotell, and with the afore- 
said linen scarf him, the said John Cotell, then and there 
feloniously did throttle, suffocate, and strangle, so that 
the aforesaid John Cotell immediately died, and so the 


aforesaid William Maghewe [Mathewe] and William 
Inges, by the procurement and abetting of the aforesaid 
Agnes, did then and there feloniously murder, &c., the 
aforesaid John Cotell, against the peace of the Lord the 
King, and afterwards the aforesaid William, and William, 
the body of the aforesaid John Cotell did then and there 
put into a certain fire in the furnace of the kitchen in the 
Castle of Farley aforesaid, and the body of the same John 
in the fire aforesaid in the Castle of Farley aforesaid, in 
the county of Somerset aforesaid, did burn and consume." 

The indictment charged that Agnes Hungerford, other- 
wise called Agnes Cotell, late of Heytesbury, in the 
county of Wilts, widow, late the wife of the aforesaid 
John Cotell, well knowing that the aforesaid William 
Mathewe and William Inges had done the felony and 
murder aforesaid, did receive, comfort and aid them on 
'28th December, 1518. 

Such was the indictment, " which said indictment the 
now Lord the King afterwards for certain reasons caused 
to come before him to be determined, &c." All three 
accused were committed to the Tower of London ; " and 
now, to wit, on Thursday next after the quinzaine of St. 
Martin (November 27, 1522), in the same term, before 
the Lord the King at Westminster, in their proper 
persons came the aforesaid William Mathewe, William 
Inges, and Agnes Hungerford, brought here to the bar 
by Sir Thomas Lovell, Knight, Constable of the Tower 
of London, by virtue of the writ of the Lord the King to 
him thereupon directed." 

So they were brought to trial, and all found guilty. 
William Mathewe and Lady Agnes Hungerford were 
sentenced to be hanged ; William Inges pleaded benefit 
of clergy. The plea was contested on the ground that he 
had committed bigamy, by which he lost his right to 
claim his clergy. The question was referred to the 
Bishop of Salisbury, who proved that Inges was a 
bigamist, and Inges was therefore also sentenced to be 


hanged. There is no record of a third execution ; the 
servant hanged at the same time as Lady Agnes Hunger- 
ford was therefore William Mathewe. 

The story is still incomplete : it may be hoped that 
records somewhere exist the discovery of which will tell 
us more. It will be observed that Lady Hungerford was 
indicted, not for the murder of her husband, but for 
receiving, comforting, and aiding, five months after the 
fact, those who, by her procurement, had murdered him. 
What was the nature of the comfort and aid thus given ? 
Had something of the story leaked out, and was Lady 
Hungerford compelled to protect the murderers ? Again, 
what part in the tragedy was played by Sir Edward ? It 
is clear that at the time of the murder Agnes Cotell was 
supreme at Farleigh Castle. She brought over from Sir 
Edward's other house the two men who committed the 
deed ; she was so fully in command of Farleigh Castle 
that she could secure the use of the furnace for disposing 
of the body of the murdered man. It is not difficult to 
divine what were the relations between Sir Edward and 
the wife of Cotell, who was probably employed in some 
capacity on the estate. How did Agnes Cotell account 
for his disappearance ? And not his disappearance only ; 
as a preliminary step towards the marriage, Sir Edward 
must have been satisfied that Cotell was dead. Did he 
know the nature of his death ? Had he a share in this 
great crime, or was he merely the helpless victim of an 
ambitious woman, bent on obtaining a great position, 
and reckless as to the means to be employed to obtain it ? 
There may have been in Sir Edward a tendency towards 
degeneracy ; his son by the first wife was executed at the 
Tower in 1540 for an abnormal crime. But if Sir 
Edward was ignorant of the murder, there must have 
been suspicions, perhaps necessitating the active inter- 
ference of Lady Hungerford when she received, comforted, 
and aided the murderers. There must have been 
whispers, rising to open denunciation when Lady 


Hungerford's protector, her husband, all-powerful in the 
county, had quitted the scene. For more than three 
years justice was blind and deaf, but only seven months 
after Sir Edward's death the criminals were indicted. If 
we take into account the imperfect means of communi- 
cation then existing, we shall find reason to believe that 
the law must have been set in motion very soon after Sir 
Edward's death. 

It will have been observed that one of Lady Hunger- 
ford's servants pleaded his clergy, that is, he claimed the 
indulgence accorded by law to those who could read. 
In 1522 it was stiH the law that the privilege could be 
claimed by one who had committed murder. In 1531 an 
Act was passed by the provisions of which no person 
committing petty treason, murder, or felony was admitted 
to his clergy under the status of sub-deacon (23 Henry 
VIII., c. i). 

William Inges' claim would have been perforce ad- 
mitted but for the singular objection on the score of 
bigamy. The exception seems strange, but was founded 
on well-understood provisions of the Jaw. A bigamist, 
it must be remembered, was not what we of to-day mean 
when we use the word. A bigamist was one who had 
married two wives, the second after the decease of the 
first, or who had married a widow. We will return 
presently to this question of bigamy, after noting what 
Sir Thomas Smith, writing fifty years later, says as to 
clergy. Let us, however, premise that benefit of clergy 
means, as indeed the name imports, a privilege of the 
clergy consisting originally in the right of the clergy to 
be free from the jurisdiction of lay courts, and to be 
subject to the ecclesiastical courts only. Sir James Fitz- 
james Stephen aptly compares it to "the privilege 
claimed by British and other foreign subjects in Turkey, 
in Egypt, and in China, of being tried before their own 
courts." The privilege was extended by 25 Edward III. 
(1351-2), st. 6, c. 4, to all manner of clerks, as well secular 



as religious. The statute was construed as being applic- 
able to all persons who could read, and its effect is 
succinctly stated in " Piers Plowman," written a few years 
later : 

" Dominus pars hereditatis ntee. is a meri verset, 
That has take fro tybourne. twenti stronge theves." 

This is the description given by Sir Thomas Smith of 
the process of claiming clergy : 

Of him whom the xij. men pronounce guiltie, the Judge 
asketh what he can say for himselfe : if he can reade, he 
demaundeth his Clergie. For in many felonies, as in theft 
of oxen, sheepe, money, or other such things which be 
no open robberies, by the high way side, nor assaulting 
one by night in his house, putting him that is there in 
feare, such is the favour of our Lawe, that for the first 
fault the felon shalbe admitted to his Clergie, for which 
purpose the Bishop must send one with authoritie vnder 
his seale to be Judge in that matter at euerie gaole 
deliuerie. If the condemned man demandeth to be 
admitted to his booke, the Judge commonly giveth him a 
Psalter, and turneth to what place he will. The prisoner 
readeth as well as he can (God knoweth sometime very 
slenderly :) then he asketh of the Bishops commissarie, 
legit vt clericus ? The commissarie must say legit or non 
legit, for these be wordes formall, and our men of Lawe 
be very precise in their words formall. If he say legit, 
the Judge proceedeth no further to sentence of death : if 
he say non, the Judge foorthwith, or the next day 
proceedeth to sentence, which is doone by word of 
mouth onelie, 

[gives the form of the death sentence] 
he that claimeth his Clergie, is burned forthwith in the 
presence of the Judges in the brawne of his hand with a 
hot yron marked with the letter T. for a theefe, or M. for 
a mansleer, in cases where Clergie is admitted, and is 

deliuered to the Bishops officer to be kept in the Bishops 
prison, from whence after a certaine time by an other 
enquest of Clarkes he is deliuered and let at large : but if 
he be taken and condemned the second time, and his 
marke espied, he goeth to hanging. 1 

A shrewd observer, Monsieur Cesar de Saussure, gives 
an account of the proceeding in 1726 : Clergy, he says, 
was formerly a privilege restricted to churchmen, but is 
to-day extended to lay persons convicted to certain 
crimes, and particularly of manslaughter. In virtue of 
this privilege, a New Testament in Latin and in black- 
letter is presented to the criminal, who is required to read 
two verses. If the person appointed to make him read 
says these words, " Legit ut clericus," that is to say, " He 
reads like a clerk," which he always does, however ill the 
prisoner has read, the prisoner is simply marked in the 
palm of the hand with a hot iron, which he has the 
further right on payment of thirteen pence halfpenny to 
have plunged in cold water before it is applied. Then he 
is set free. 2 

The privilege of clergy was constantly narrowed, but 
was totally abolished only in 1827 by 7 and 8 George 
IV., c. 28. 

The following were the provisions respecting bigamy 
in the old sense of the word : 

4 Edward I. (1276) c. i, 2. The Statute of Bigamy, Section 5. 
Concerning Men twice married, called Bigami, whom our Lord the 
Pope by a Constitution made at the Council of Lyons hath excluded 
from all Clerks privilege, whereupon certain Prelates when such 
persons as were twice married before the same Constitution, have 
been called in question for Felony, have prayed for to have them 
delivered as Clerks . . . whether they were Bigami before the same 
Constitution or after, they shall not from henceforth be delivered to 

1 Smith, Sir Thomas, " De Republica Anglorum," ed. 1583, 
PP. 83, 84. 
3 Lettres et Voyages, 1725-9, (Lausanne, 1903), p. 129. 


the Prelates, but justice shall be executed upon them, as upon other 
lay people, 

18 Edward III. (1344) Stat. 3, c. 2. (Here summarised.) If a 
person accused pleads his clergy, and it is alleged that he has married 
two wives, or one widow, the case shall be sent for determination 
to the Spiritual Court. 

These provisions were abolished by i Edward VI. 
(1547), c. 12, s. 15, which put the "bigamist" on the 
same footing as all others. 

1525. In the last moneth called December were taken 
certain traytors in the citie of Couentry, one called 
Fraunces Philippe scolemaster to the kynges Henxmen, 
and one Christopher Pykeryng clerke of y e Larder, and 
one Antony Maynuile gentleman, which by the persuasion 
of the sayd Fraunces Philip, entended to haue taken the 
kynges treasure of his subsidie as the Collectors of the 
same came towarde London, and then to haue araised 
men and taken the castle of Kylingworth, and then to 
haue made battaile against the kyng : wherfore the sayd 
Fraunces, Christopher and Anthony wer hanged, drawen 
and quartered at Tyborne the xi. day of Februarye, the 
residue that were taken, were sent to the citie of Couentry 
and there wer executed. One of the kynges Henxmen 
called Dygby which was one of the conspirators fled the 
realme, and after had his pardon (Hall, p. 673). 

1531. This yeare Mr. Risse was beheaded at Tower 
hill, and one that was his servante was drawne from the 
Tower of London to Tiburne, where he was hanged, his 
bowells burnt, and his bodie quartered. J 

1534. With the aid of Cranmer, the willing instrument 
of his lust and cruelty, Henry had divorced Catherine, 
and had married his mistress, Anne Boleyn, the sister 
of a former mistress. With the same aid he had also 

1 Wriothesley's Chronicle (Camden Soc.), i. 17. Holinshed supplies 
the date, December 4, and gives the names as Sir Rees Griffin and 
John Hewes (iii. 928). Pennant, a Welshman, corrects these names 
to Sir Rhys ap Gryffydd, and John Hughes. He gives particulars of 
the family of Sir Rhys. 


invested himself with the supremacy of the Church. 
But there was a strong feeling throughout the country 
against these proceedings, and Henry viewed with alarm 
every manifestation of this feeling. To express dis- 
approbation, however mildly, was regarded as a crime, 
as evidence of a conspiracy against the State. 

Elizabeth Barton, afterwards known as the Holy Maid 
of Kent, was a domestic servant at Aldington, Kent. 
From about the year 1525 she was subject to trances, on 
recovery from which she narrated the marvels she had 
seen in the world of spirits. Her fame was soon spread 
abroad ; many of the greatest men in the kingdom visited 
her ; some came to believe that she was inspired, among 
them perhaps Sir Thomas More, and Fisher, Bishop of 
Rochester. When the great case of the divorce came on, 
Elizabeth predicted that if Henry married Anne during 
the life of Catherine he would die within a month. 
Cranmer, who had now received the reward of his 
services by being appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, 
laboured to draw from Elizabeth a confession that " her 
predictions were feigned of her own imagination only." 

In the Parliament which met in January, 1534, seven 
persons, including Elizabeth, were accused of forming 
a conspiracy in relation to the matter. This was the 
end : 

1534. The 20. of Aprill, Elizabeth Barton a nunne 
professed [she had entered a convent in 1527], Edward 
Bocking, and lohn Dering, two monks of Christs church 
in Canterburie, and Richard Risby & another of his 
fellowes of y e same house, Richard Master parson of 
Aldington, and Henry Gold priest, were drawne from 
the Tower of London to Tiborne, and there hanged and 
headed, the nuns head was set on London bridge, and 
the other heades on gates of y e citie (Stow, p. 570). 

1535. Maurice Chauncy, a monk of the Charterhouse 
of London, has told the story of the martyrdom of the 
Carthusians, in a book which some one, I think, hag 


called the swan-song of English monasticism, " Historia 
Aliquot Martyrum Anglorum Cartusianorum." 

Proceedings were taken against the London Carthusians 
for refusing to admit Henry's claim to be supreme head 
of the Church. In the London House were at this time 
Father Robert Lawrence, Prior of Beauvale, and Father 
Augustine Webster, Prior of Axholme ; Beauvale and 
Axholme being two other Carthusian monasteries. 

Together with Father Houghton, Prior of the London 
House, Father Lawrence and Father Webster were 
brought to trial and condemned. Let Chauncy tell the 
story of their execution : with little variation it may stand 
for that of all the Catholic martyrs from 1535 to 1681 : 

Being brought out of prison [the Tower] they were 
thrown down on a hurdle and fastened to it, lying at 
length on their backs, and so lying on the hurdle, they 
were dragged at the heels of horses through the city 
until they came to Tyburn, a place where, according 
to custom, criminals are executed, which is distant from 
the prison one league, or a French mile. Who can relate 
what grievous things, what tortures they endured on that 
whole journey, where one while the road lay over rough 
and hard, at another through wet and muddy places, 
which exceedingly abounded. 

On arrival at the place of execution our holy Father 
was the first loosed, and then the executioner, as the 
custom is, bent his knee before him, asking pardon for 
the cruel work he had to do. O good Jesu, 

" Quis non fleret, 
Christ! servum si videret, 
In tanto supplicio, 
Quis non posset contristari " ; 

beholding the benignity of so holy a man, how gently 
and moderately he spoke to the executioner, how sweetly 
he embraced and kissed him, and how piously he prayed 
for him and for all the bystanders. Then on being 


ordered to mount the ladder to the gibbet, where he was 
to be hanged, he meekly obeyed. Then one of the 
King's Council, who stood there with many thousand 
people, who came together to witness the sight, asked him 
if he would submit to the king's command and the Act of 
Parliament, for if he would he should be pardoned. The 
holy Martyr of Christ answered : " I call Almighty God, 
and I beseech you all in the terrible Day of Judgment, to 
bear witness, that being here about to die, I publicly 
declare that not through any pertinacity, malice, or 
rebellious spirit, do I commit this disobedience and 
denial of the will of our lord the king, but solely through 
fear of God, lest I should offend His Supreme Majesty ; 
because our holy mother, the Church, has decreed and 
determined otherwise than as your king and his Parlia- 
ment have ordained ; wherefore I am bound in conscience 
and am prepared, and am not confounded, to endure 
these and all other torments that can be inflicted, rather 
than go against the doctrine of the Church. Pray for 
me, and have pity on my brethren, of whom I am the 
unworthy Prior." And having said these things, he 
begged the executioner to wait until he had finished his 
prayer, which was, " In te Domine speravi," down to " In 
manus tuas," inclusive. Then on a sign given, the ladder 
was turned, and so he was hanged. Then one of the 
bystanders, before his holy soul left his body, cut the 
rope, and so falling to the ground, he began for a little 
space to throb and breathe. Then he was drawn to 
another adjoining place, where all his garments were 
violently torn off, and he was again extended naked on 
the hurdle, on whom immediately the bloody executioner 
laid his wicked hands. In the first place verenda abscidit, 
then he cut open his belly, dragged out his bowels, his 
heart, and all else, and threw them into a fire, during 
which our most blessed Father not only did not cry out 
on account of the intolerable pain, but on the contrary, 
(luring all this time until his heart was torn out, prayed 

>.--. .- 



continually, and bore himself with more than human 
endurance, most patiently, meekly, and tranquilly, to the 
wonder not only of the presiding officer, but of all the 
people who witnessed it. Being at his last gasp, and 
nearly disembowelled, he cried out with a most sweet 
voice, " Most sweet Jesu, have pity on me in this hour ! " 
And, as trustworthy men have reported, he said to the 
tormentor, while in the act of tearing out his heart, " Good 
Jesu, what will you do with my heart ? " and saying this 
he breathed his last. Lastly, his head was cut off, and 
the beheaded body was divided into four parts. . . . Our 
holy Father having been thus put to death the two other 
before-named venerable Fathers, Robert and Augustine, 
with another religious named Reynolds, of the Order of 
St. Bridget, being subjected to the same most cruel 
death, were deprived of life, one after another ; all of 
whose remains were thrown into cauldrons and par- 
boiled, and afterwards put up at different places in the 
city. And one arm of our Father was suspended at 
the gate of our house. 1 

On the subject of these butcheries Mr. Froude remarks, 
" But we cannot blame the Government" (ii. 382). 

1535. The eighteenth of June, three Monks of the 
Charter-house at London, named Thomas Exmew, 
Humfrey Middlemore, and Sebastian Nidigate [New- 
digate] were drawen to Tiborne, and there hanged and 
quartered for denying the Kinges supremacie (Stow , 
pp. 570-1). 

1535-7. In 1535 was introduced the first Bill for the 
dissolution of the monasteries : only the smaller were now 
touched. The Bill was passed on Henry's threat that 
he would have the Bill pass, or take off some of the 
Commons' heads. Henry had tired of Anne Boleyn, 

1 This was the inner gate, still standing, of the London Qharter* 


and Cranmer, always equal to the occasion, "having 
previously invoked the name of Christ, and having God 
alone before his eyes," had declared that the marriage 
was void and had always been so. In 1536 broke out 
the first of the revolts caused by the dissolution. Henry 
had not yet discovered the secret of detaching from the 
cause of the people their natural leaders by sharing the 
plunder with them. The nobility and gentry had their 
grievances, and made common cause with the people. 
Henry was furious. He gave orders to " run upon the 
insurgents with your forces, and with all extremity 
destroy, burn, and kill man, woman and child, to the 
terrible example of all others." The chief monks were to 
be hanged on long pieces of timber out of the steeples. 
Later, when the revolt had spread to Yorkshire, he 
wrote : " You must cause such dreadful execution upon 
a good number of the inhabitants, hanging them on 
trees, quartering them, and setting their heads and 
quarters in every town, as shall be a fearful warning." 
In summing up these operations, Cromwell, with a 
pleasant wit, speaks of the execution of the rest at 
"Thyf bourne." 1 The story of the rest will follow. It 
forms but a small fraction of those murdered by this 
fell tyrant. 

It may well be doubted whether in the history of 
civilised communities there is any record of a social 
cataclysm, not resulting from war or pestilence, so 
terrible as that which overwhelmed the commons of 
England after the dissolution of the monasteries, followed 
by measures of plunder extending through the reign of 
Edward VI. An abbat might not always be a good man 
of business, witness the dreadful financial condition in 
which Abbat Samson found the monastery of Bury St. 
Edmunds. 2 He might even be so pressed for money as 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Henry VIII., ed.Gairdner, xi. No. 780; 
xii. (i), No. 479. 

Chron. Jocelin of Prakelond (Camden Society), p. 28, 


to be driven to pledge with the Jews the arm or leg of a 
saint taken from the reliquary. 1 But he was a good land- 
lord ; the lands of the monastery were let to the 
yeomanry on easy terms. The misery of the French 
peasantry, largely due to constant English invasions, 
was so great, that one who knew France well, Chief 
Justice Fortescue, writing three hundred years before 
the Great Uprising, had to seek reasons for the fact that 
the peasantry did not rebel. " It is not pouerte that 
kepith Ffrenchmen ffro rysinge, but it is cowardisse and 
lakke off hartes and corage " : " thai haue no wepen, nor 
armour, nor good to bie it with all." With their lot 
he contrasts that of the English yeoman. The might 
of England " stondith most vppon archers " : if they 
were poor, they could not be much exercised in shoot- 
ing, "wich mey not be done withowt ryght grete 
expenses." 2 

For the English yeomen were a prosperous class, 
the backbone of the country. They were able to serve 
their country alike in peace and war : having means to 
send their sons to the universities, not yet appropriated 
by a class : able to help in the maintenance of the poor : 
stout soldiers in case of need the best archers in the 
world. Latimer's father was a type of the class. A 
yeoman, having no lands of his own, he held a farm at a 
rent of three or four pounds a year. The tillage of the 
farm kept half a dozen men, there was walk for a 
hundred sheep: Latimer's mother milked thirty kine. 
Latimer recollected buckling on his father's harness 

1 As, for example: -In 1175, William of Waterville, Abbat of 
Peterborough, designed to pledge with the Jews the arm of St. 
Oswald. The monks objecting, the abbat took with him ten armed 
knights, and forced his way into the cloisters and the church, in- 
flicting mortal wounds on some monks and servants of the monastery 
who resisted him. For this he was deposed by the Archbishop of 
Canterbury. Chron. Benedict of Peterborough, ed. Stubbs, i. 106. 

2 Fortescue, "The Governance of England," ed. Plummer, 1885, 
pp. 137-41. 


when the stout yeoman-soldier set out for Black- 
heath. He put Latimer " to schole, or elles I had not 
bene able to haue preached before the kinges maiestie 
nowe," gave his daughters a portion, kept hospitality for 
his poor neighbours, gave alms to the poor, " and all 
thys did he of the sayd farme." The Dissolution changed 
all that. The rapacity of the new landlords, who turned 
arable land into pasture, and quadrupled rents, is the 
despair of contemporaries. Latimer thus speaks of his 
father's successor : " Wher he that now hath it, paieth 
xvi. pounde by- yere or more, and is not able to do any- 
thing for his Prynce, for himselfe, nor for his children, 
or geue a cup of drincke to the pore." J 

Then, for the first time was heard in England the 
question since become familiar, " Can I not do as I like 
with my own ?" They say, said Bernard Gilpin, "the 
Apostle of the North," in a sermon preached before the 
Court of Edward VI. "they saie, their lande is their 
owne, and forget altogether that the earth is the Lords & 
the fulnesse thereof. They turn them out of their shrouds 
as thicke as mice." 2 Henry Brinklow, puritan of puritans, 
admits that " but for the faith's sake," it had been more 
profitable to the commonwealth that the abbey lands had 
remained in the hands of those " imps of Antichrist," 
the abbeys and nunneries. " For why ? thei neuer 
inhansed their landys, nor toke so cruel fynes as doo our 
temporal tyrauntes."s 

The governing classes, themselves atheistic,4 ready 
to change their professed religion as often as was 
necessary to keep their grip on the lands stolen from 
the people, played on the fanaticism of a section of the 

1 Latimer's Seven Sermons, ed. Arber, pp. 40-1. 

2 A Godly Sermon, 1552. And again: "It is myne owne; 
whoe shall warne me to do wyth myne owne as me selfe lysteth ?" 
Select Works of Robert Crowley (E. Engl. Text Soc., 1872), p. 157. 

3 "Complaynt of Roderyck Mors," (E. Engl. Text Soc., 1874), 
p. 9. 

4 Latimer's Seven Sermons, pp. 121, 149, 


people by means of imported preachers of the new 
doctrine, sharked up in every corner of Europe. When 
the commons, oppressed beyond endurance, rose at last 
in revolt, they were butchered in thousands by foreign 
mercenaries, the first seen in England for centuries. 1 

The Guilds, lay associations of men and women banded 
together for mutual help, were among the oldest things 
in England older than King Alfred. They were the 
precursors of the modern Trades Unions and Benefit 
Societies, but wider in their constitution, embracing 
various classes, and more human in their administra- 
tion. 2 These, too, were swept away. 

The very hospitals were seized, the sick thrust forth. 

The dispossessed people wandered about, workless, 
aimless, foodless. "Thousandes in England through 
such [landlords] begge nowe from dore to dore, which 
haue kept honest houses." 3 The Slave Act of the first 
year of the reign of Edward VI. made it lawful to brand 
an Englishman on the forehead with the mark of 
slavery, "to putt a rynge of Iron about his Necke Arme 
or his Legge for a more knowledge and suretie of 
the kepinge of him." 4 

In 1547 Ascham, about the time he was appointed 
tutor to Elizabeth, wrote, "The life now lived by the 
greatest number is not life, but misery," words which 
a modern writer has said should be inscribed over 
the century as its motto. " Most lamentable of all," 
writes Ascham, " is it, that that noble ornament and 
strength of England, the yeomanry, is broken and 
destroyed." 5 

1 In " Who Killed Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey ? " I have given a 
list of fifty-two of the captains of these hosts. Four thousand of the 
people are said to have been butchered in Devon, and five thousand 
in Norfolk. 

2 " English Gilds " (E. Eng. Text. Soc., 1870). 

3 Bernard Gilpin, op. cit. 

* Statute i Edward VI. c. 3. 

5 " Rogeri Aschami Epistolarum libri quatuor, Oxoniae," 1703 
p. 294. The date is about 1547. The comment is that of Mr 
Jamieson in Barclay's " Ship of Fools," 


A contemporary writer draws a picture of " the Decay 
of England " almost too terrible for belief, yet all that we 
know tends to confirm his story. " Whether shall then 
they goo ? " he cries in despair. " Foorth from shyre 
to shyre, and to be scathered thus abrode, within the 
Kynges maiestyes Realme, where it shall please Almighty 
God : and for lacke of maisters, by compulsion dryuen, 
some of them to begge, and some to steale." J Happy 
those who in defence of their hearths had died in the 
West and in Norfolk at the hands of Spaniards, Italians, 
Germans, Albanians ! 

A calculation based upon the statements of this same 
writer on the " Decay of England " gives 675,000 persons 
thrown upon the country by the decay of husbandry. 2 
But to this number we must add those turned out of the 
monasteries, the poor, formerly maintained by the 
monasteries and by the yeomanry, the sick and infirm, 
ejected from the hospitals established for " Christ's 
poor," as they are called in the act of foundation of a 
hospital in the thirteenth century. And this immense 
number out of a population estimated at 5,000,000 ! 
" And nowe they haue nothynge, but goeth about 
in England from dore to dore, and axe theyr almose 
for Goddes sake. And because they will not begge, some 
of them doeth steale, and then they be hanged/' 3 Great 
numbers flocked to London, seeking in vain redress of 
their grievances. 

This was the great time of Tyburn. 

In his fourth sermon, preached on March 29, 1549, 
Latimer mentions, quite incidentally, the frightful number 
of executions taking place in London, when he was " in 

1 " The Four Supplications " (E. Eng. Text Soc., 1871), p. 98. 

2 Ibid., pp. xvii-xviii. 

3 Ibid., p. 102. It is true that the " decay of husbandry " 
existed in a less intense form before the Dissolution. There 
were several Acts against pulling down " towns," and for keeping 
up houses for husbandry, the first being 4 Henry VII. (1488-9), 
c. 19. 


ward" with the Bishop of Chichester in 1539. "I 
was desirous to heare of execution done (as ther was 
euri weke, some in one place of the citye or other) for 
there was thre wekes sessions at newgate, and fourth- 
nyghte Sessions at the Marshialshy, and so forth." x 
That is, sessions every three weeks at the one place and 
every two weeks at the other. Never had the gallows 
been so crowded. In the sentence quoted on the title- 
page of this book Sir Thomas More, writing in Latin in 
1516, had said that twenty were "sometimes" hanged 
together upon one gallows. In the English translation, 
first published in 1551, the translator changed "some- 
times " (" nonnunquam ") into " for the most part." So 
had the gallows thriven ! 

The bitter lamentations of Latimer, Brinklow, Ascham, 
Lever, Bernard Gilpin, Crowley, are not the cries of 
partisans of the old order. They had looked for a new 
heaven and a new earth to see " the pure light of the 
gospel" kindled by John a Lasco, Stumphius, John ab 
Ulmis, illuminating homes freed for ever from taxation 
by the spoils of the monasteries. And "the Blessed 
Reformation" had sent countless thousands to the 
gallows, had reinstituted white slavery in England, and 
had established the " pauper," no longer " Christ's poor," 
as a despised and degraded caste. 

But of the judicial murders of this dreadful time we 
know next to nothing. As Harrison has been more than 
once quoted it is necessary to refer to a passage giving 
what purports to be a statement as to the numbers 
executed in the reign of Henry VIII. He says : 

It appeareth by Cardane (who writeth it vpon the 
report of the bishop of Lexouia) in the geniture of 
king Edward the sixt, how Henrie the eight, executing 
his laws verie seuerlie against such idle persons, I meane 
great theeues, pettie theeues and roges, did hang vp 
threescore and twelue thousand of them in his time. 2 
1 Latimer's, Seven Sermons, p. 120. 2 Holinshed, i. 186. 


The statement has been repeated by countless writers 
from Hume downwards, not one of whom has taken the 
trouble to refer to the original. It is a misquotation 
hoary with age. Cardan gives the nativity of Henry VIII. 
and then says : " From these two causes, together with 
others, there fell out that which the bishop of Lisieux 
told me at Besancon, namely, that in the two years 
before his death it was found that seventy-two thousand 
men perished by the hangman after sentence (judicio ei 
carnifice). 1 Cardan was at Besan9on in 1552, not long 
after the death of Henry. Possibly Harrison, finding the 
number incredible, as relating to two years, spread the 
number over the whole reign. But in the statement 
attributed to the bishop there is nothing to indicate 
the class of persons executed. That in one way or 
another Henry did in the course of his reign destroy 
seventy-two thousand persons does not seem improbable. 
It is said that " over 5,000 men were hanged within the 
space of six years" in a district of North Wales. 2 By 
the provisions of the Act 27 Henry VIII. (1535-6) c. 25, 
" rufflers " and vagabonds were to be whipped till their 
bodies were bloody ; for a second offence they were 
to be again whipped and to lose a part of the right ear ; 
if thereafter they were found idling, they were to be 
declared felons, and to be punished with death. 

1537. The nine and twentith of March were 12. men 
of Lincolne drawne to Tyborne, and there hanged and 
quartered, fiue were priests, and 7. were lay men, i. one 
was an Abbot, a suffragan, doctor Mackerel ; another 
was the vicar of Louth in Lincolnshire, & two priests 
(Stow, p. 573). 

1537. Alsoe, the 17 daye of Maye, were arrayned at 
Westmynster these persons followinge : Doctor Cokerell, 
prieste and chanon, John Pykeringe, layman, the Abbot 

1 Opera Omnia, 1663, v. p., 508. 

* Hist. MSS. Comm. Welsh MSS. of Lord Mostyn (1898) p. x. 


of Gervase [Jervaulx] and an Abbott condam [quondam] 
of Fountens, of the order of pyed monkes, the Prior of 
Bridlington, Chanon, Docter John Pykeringe, fryer 
of the order of prechers, and Nicholas Tempeste, 
esquire, all which persons were that daye condemned 
of highe treason, and had judgment for the same. 

And, the 25 daye of Maye, beinge the Frydaye in 
Whytsonweke, Sir John Bolner, Sir Stephen Hamerton, 
knightes, were hanged and heddyd, Nicholas Tempeste, 
esquier, Docter Cokerell, preiste, Abbott condam of 
Fountens, and Docter Pykeringe, fryer, ware drawen 
from the Towre of London to Tyburne, and ther hanged, 
boweld, and quartered, and their heddes sett one London 
Bridge and diverse gates in London. 

And the same daye Margaret Cheyney, other wife 
to Bolmer called ["which" says Hall, "some reported 
was not his wife but his paramour "] was drawen after 
them from the Tower of London into Smythfyld, and 
there brente, according to hir judgment, God pardon her 
sowle, being the Frydaye in Whytson weeke ; she was 
a very fayre creature and a bewtyfull. .... 

The second daie of June, being Saterdaie after Trinitie 
Soundaie, this yeare Sir Thomas Percey, knight, and 
brother to the Earle of Northumberland, was drawen 
from the Tower of London to Tiburne, and their hanged 
and beheaded, and Sir Francis Bigott, knight, Georg 
Lomeley, esquire, sonne to the Lord Lomeley, the Abbott 
of Gervase, and the Prior of Bridlington, were drawen 
from the said place to Tiburne, and their hanged and 
quartered, according to their judgmente, and their heades 
sett on London Bridge and other gates of London. 1 

1538. The 25. of February, Sir lohn Allen priest, and 
also an Irish Gentleman of the Carets, were hanged and 
quartered at Tyborne (Stow, p. 574). 

Also this yere the xxv. day of Februarii was drawne 
from the Towere to Tyborne, Henry Harford gentleman 
1 Wriothesley's Chron. (Camden Society), pp. 63, 64. 


and Thomas Hever merchand, and there hongyd and 
qwarterd for tresoun (Grey Friars Chron., ed. Hewlett, 
p. 201). 

1538. In luly was Edmond Coningsbey attainted of 
treason, for counterfeatyng of the kynges Signe Manuell : 
And in August was Edward Clifford for thesame cause 
attainted, and both put to execucion as traitors at 
Tiborne. And the Sonday after Bartelmew day, was 
one Cratwell hangman of London, and two persones 
more hanged at the wrestlyng place on the backesyde of 
Clerkenwel besyde London, for robbyng of a bouthe in 
Bartholomew fayre, at which execution was aboue 
twentie thousand people as I my self iudged (Hall's 
Chron., p. 826). 

1538-9. The third daie of Nouembre were Henry 
Marques of Excester & earle of Deuonshire and sir 
Henry Pole knight and lorde Mountagew and Sir 
Edward Neuell brother to the Lorde Burgany sent to 
the tower which thre wer accused by sir Gefferei Pole 
brother to the lord Mountagew, of high treason, and the 
two lordes were arreigned the last day of Decembre, at 
Westminster before the lord Awdeley of Walden, lord 
Chauncelor, and then the high stuard of England, and 
there found giltie, likewise on the third day after was 
arreigned Sir Edward Neuel, Sir Gefferey Pole and two 
priestes called Croftes and Collins, and one holand a 
Mariner and all attainted, and the ninth day of lanuarie 
[ I 539]> were the saied two lordes and Sir Edward Neuell 
behedded at the tower hill, and the two priestes and 
Holande were drawen to Tiborne, and there hanged 
and quartered, and sir Gefferey Pole was pardoned 
(Hall, p. 827). 

1539. The eight and twentie daie of Aprill, began a 
Parliament at Westminster, in the which Margaret 
countesse of Salsbury Gertrude wife to the Marques of 
Excester, Reignold Poole, a Cardinall brother to the 
lorde Mountagew, Sir Adrian Foskew [Fortescue] & 



Thomas Dingley Knight of saynt lohnes, & diuerse 
other wer attainted of high treason, which Foskew and 
Dynglei wer the tenth daie of luli behedded. 

According to the Grey Friars Chronicle and Wriothes- 
ley's Chronicle they were beheaded at Tower Hill on the 
9th July, " and that same day was drawne to Tyborne ii. 
of their seruanttes, and ther hongyd and quarterd for 
tresoun." x 

1540. Also this same yere was the xvi. day of Marche 
was one Somer and iii. vacabundes with hym drawne, 
hongyd and qwarterd for cleppynge of golde at Tyborne 
(Grey Friars Chron., p. 203). 

1540. Dr. Johnson blamed the Government of his day 
for suppressing the processions to Tyburn " the public 
was gratified by a procession." From this point of view 
Henry VIII. was an ideal monarch, though it is open 
to doubt whether the burnings at Smithfield and the 
disembowellings at Tyburn were not so frequent as 
to satiate the lovers of these spectacles. 

Thus on July 30, 1540, two Doctors of Divinity and a 
parson were burnt in Smithfield, and on the same day 
another Doctor and two priests were hanged on a gallows 
at Saint Bartholomew's Gate, beheaded and quartered 
six victims. 

Five days later the spectacle was offered of other seven 
or perhaps eight despatched at Tyburn. 

The 4. of August, Thomas Empson sometime a monke 
of Westminster, which had bin prisoner in Newgate more 
than three yeeres, was brought before the Justices of 
goale deliuerie at Newgate, and for that hee would not 
aske the King pardon for denying his supremacie, nor be 
sworne therto, his monkes coole was plucked from his 
backe, and his body repried till the King were informed 
of his obstinacie. 

Nothing more is told us of Empson, but it has been 
supposed that he was executed in this batch : 

1 Hall, p. 827-8 ; Grey Friars Chron., p. 202 ; Wriothesley's Chron 
i., 101-2. 


The same 4. of August were drawn to Tyborne 
6. persons and one lead betwixt twaine, to wit, Laurence 
Cooke, prior of Doncaster, William Home a lay brother 
of the Charterhouse of London, Giles Home gentleman, 
Clement Philip gentleman of Caleis, & seruant to the 
L. Lisle, Edmond Bromholme priest, chaplaine to the 
said L. Lisley, Darby Gening, Robert Bird, all hanged 
and quartered, and had beene attainted by parliament, 
for deniall of the Kings supremacie (Stow, p. 581). 

1540. There is nothing new under the sun. The 
Aliens Act of" 1905 was anticipated by the Act 32 
Henry VIII. c. 16, Concerning Strangers. 

The King our most dradde Souveraine Lord calling 
unto his blissed remembraunce the infinite nombre of 
Straungers and aliens of foren countries and nations 
whiche daily doo increase and multiplie within his 
Graces Realme and Dominions in excessive nombres, to 
the greate detriment hinderaunce losse and empoverish- 
ment of his Graces naturall true lieges and subjectis of 
this his Realme and to the greate decay of the same 
having this on his blessed remembrance his Grace took 
measures to drive out aliens not furnished with letters of 

This act indirectly furnished Tyburn with two 
victims : 

1540. On the xxii. daie of December, was Raufe 
Egerton seruant to the Lorde Audeley lorde Chauncellor, 
hanged, drawen, and quartered, for counterfetyng of the 
kynges greate Scale, in a signet, whiche was neuer seen, 
and sealed a great nomber of Licenses for Denizens, 
and one Thomas Harman that wrote theim, was 
executed : for the statute made the last parliament sore 
bounde the straungiers, whiche wer not Denizens, 
whiche caused theim to offre to Egerton, greate sommes 
of money, the desire whereof caused hym to practise 
that whiche brought hym to the ende, that before is 
declared (Hall, p. 841). 


1541. On the 28th June : There was executed at saint 
Thomas Waterings three gentlemen, John Mantell, John 
Frowds, and george Roidon : they died for a murther 
committed in Sussex (as their indictement imported) in 
companie of Thomas Fines lord Dacres of the south. 
The truth whereof was thus. The said lord Dacres, 
through the lewd persuasion of some of them, as hath 
beene reported, meaning to hunt in the parke of Nicholas 
Pelham esquire at Laughton, in" the same countie of 
Sussex, being accompanied with the said Mantell, 
Frowds, and Roidon, John Cheinie and Thomas Isleie 
gentlemen, Richard Middleton and John Goldwell 
yeomen, passed from his house of Hurstmonseux, the 
last of Aprill in the night season, toward the same parke, 
where they intended so to hunt : and comming vnto 
a place called Pikehaie in the parish of -Hillingleie, they 
found one John Busbrig, James Busbrig, and Richard 
Sumner standing togither ; and as it fell out through 
quarelling, there insued a fraie betwixt the said lord 
Dacres and his companie on the one partie, and the said 
John and James Busbrig and Richard Sumner on the 
other : insomuch that the said John Busbrig receiued 
such hurt, that he died thereof the second of Maie next 

Wherevpon, as well the said lord Dacres as those that 
were there with him, and diuerse other likewise that were 
appointed to go another waie to meet them at the said 
parke, were indicted of murther ; and the seauen and 
twentith of June the lord Dacres himselfe was arreigned 
before the lord Audleie of Walden then lord chancellor, 
sitting that daie as high steward of England, with other 
peeres of the realme about him, who then and there 
condemned the said lord Dacres to die for that transgres- 
sion. And afterward the nine and twentith of June 
being saint Peters daie, at eleuen of the clocke in 
the forenoone, the shiriffs of London, accordinglie as 
they were appointed, were readie at the tower to haue 


receiued the said prisoner, and him to haue lead to 
execution on the tower hill. But as the prisoner should 
come forth of the tower, one Heire a gentleman 
of the lord chancellors house came, and in the kings 
name commanded to staie the execution till two of the 
clocke in the afternoone, which caused manie to thinke 
that the king would haue granted his pardon. But 
neuerthelesse, at three or the clocke in the same after- 
noone, he was brought forth of the tower, and deliuered 
to the shiriffs, who lead him on foot betwixt them vnto 
Tiburne, where he died. His bodie was buried in the 
church of saint Sepulchers. He was not past foure and 
twentie yeeres of age, when he came through this great 
mishap to his end, for whome manie sore lamented, and 
likewise for the other three gentlemen, Mantell, Frowds, 
and Roidon. But for the said yoong lord, being a right 
towardlie gentleman, and such a one, as manie had 
conceiued great hope of better proofe, no small mone 
and lamentation was made ; the more indeed, for that it 
was thought he was induced to attempt such follie, which 
occasioned his death, by some light heads that were then 
about him. 1 

1541. xxxiii year of Henry VIII. In the beginnyng 
of this yere, v. priestes in Yorke shire began a newe 
rebellion, with thassent of one Leigh a gentleman, and 
ix. temporall men, which were apprehended, & shortly 
after in diuerse places put in execucion, insomuch that 
on the xvii. daie of Maie, the said Leigh & one Tatersall, 
and Thornton were drawen through London to Tiborne 
and there were executed (Hall, p. 841). 

1542. The 20 of March was one Clement Dyer, a 
vintner, drawen to Tyburne for treason, and hanged 
and quartered (Wriothesley's Chronicle, i., p. 135). 

1 Holinshed's Chronicle iii. 954. Hall says thaf'greate moane 
was made for them al, but moste specially for Mantel, who was as 
wittie, and as towarde a gentleman, as any was in the realme, and 
a manne able to haue dooen good seruice" (p. 842). 


1542. December 10. At this tyme the Quene late 
before maried to the kyng called Quene Katheryne, was 
accused to the Kyng of dissolute Huing, before her 
mariage, with Fraunces Diram, and that was not secretely, 
but many knewe it. And sithe her Mariage, she was 
vehemently suspected with Thomas Culpeper, whiche was 
brought to her Chamber at Lyncolne, in August laste, in 
the Progresse tyme, by the Lady of Rocheforde, and 
were there together alone, from a leuen of the Clocke at 
Nighte, till foure of the Clocke in the Mornyng, and to 
hym she gaue a Chayne, and a riche Cap. Vpon this the 
kyng remoued to London and she was sent to Sion, 
and there kept close, but yet serued as Quene. And for 
the offence confessed by Culpeper and Diram, thei were 
put to death at Tiborne (Hall, p. 842). 

Culpeper was headed, his body buried at Saint 
Sepulchers Church by Newgate : Derham was quartered 
&c (Stow, p. 583). 

1543. The 8. of May one Lech sometime Baylie of 
Lowth, who had killed Somerset one of our heraults of 
armes at Dunbar in Scotlande, was drawne to Tyborne 
and there hanged and quartered. And the 12. of June, 
Edward Lech his brother and with him a priest for the 
same fact, were likewise executed at Tyborne (Stow, 
p. 584). 

1544. The 7. of March, Garmaine Gardner, and 
Larke parson of Chelsey, were executed at Tyborne, for 
denying the kings supremacie, with them was executed, 
for other offences, one Singleton. And shortly after, 
Ashbey was likewise executed for the supremacie (Stow, 
p. 586). 

Henry VIII. was succeeded by the boy-King Edward 
VI. in 1547. Two years later the peasants rose against 
their oppressors. Here are echoes of the risings in the 
West and in Norfolk. 

1549. Item the xxvii. day of the same monythe 
[August] was iii. persons drawyn, hongyd, and qwarterd 


at Tyborne that came owte of the West contre (Grey 
Friars Chronicle, p. 223). 

1550. The 27. of January, Humfrey Arundell esquire, 
Thomas Holmes, Winslowe and Bery Captaines of the 
rebels in Deuonshire, were hanged and quartered at 
Tyborne (Stow, p. 603). 

1550. The 10. of February one Bel a Suffolke man, 
was hanged and quartered at Tyborne, for moouing a 
new rebellion in Suffolke & Essex (Stow, p. 604). 

In Machyn's Diary 1550 to 1563 (Camden Society, 
1848), we get- almost for the first time particulars of 
the rank and file of the victims of Tyburn. This is 
accounted for by the probability that, as the editor 
says, "his business was in that department of the 
trade of a merchant-taylor which we now call an 
undertaker or furnisher of funerals." Machyn's spelling 
is detestable ; it requires, as will be seen, frequent 

1552. The ij day of May . . . the sam day was 
hangyd at Tyborne ix fello[ns] (p. 18). 

The xj day of July [was] hangyd one James Ellys, 
the grett pykkepurs that ever was, and cutt-purs, and 
vij more for theyfft, at Tyburne (pp. 21, 22). 

1552. The xxj day of Desember rod to Tyborne to 
be hangyd for a robery done on Honsley heth, iij 
talmen and a lake [tall men and a lacquey] (Machyn, 
p. 27). 

1553. The xxj day of the same monyth [January] 
rod unto [Tyburn] ij felons, serten was for kyllyng of 
a gentylman [of] ser Edward North knyght, in Chartur- 
howsse Cheyr [Ch. yard ?] the vij yere of kyng Edward 
the vj (Machyn, p. 30). 

" Rod " means rode in a cart. 

Edward died on July 6, 1553. The rebellion in favour 
of Lady Jane Grey was quickly put down, and Mary 
made her entry into London on August 3rd. 

At the end of January, 1554, broke out Sir Thomas 


Wyatt's rebellion. It was suppressed, but not till after 
Wyatt had made his way into the heart of the City. 
The gallows of Tyburn was supplemented by numerous 
others : 

The xij of February was mad at evere gate in Lundun 
a newe payre of galaus and set up, ij payre in Chepesyde, 
ij payr in Fletstrett, one in Smythfyld, one payre in 
Holborne, on at Ledyn-hall, one at Sant Magnus London 
[bridge], on at Peper allay gatt, one at Sant Gorgeus, 
on in Barunsay [Bermondsey] strett, on on Towr hylle, 
one payre at Chary ngcrosse, 1 on payr besyd Hyd parke 
corner (Machyn, p. 55). 

On these gallows 58 persons were executed ; at Hyde 
Park Corner three were hanged in chains ; only seven 
were quartered, "ther bodys and heds set a-pon the 
gattes of London." 

Wyatt was beheaded on Tower Hill on April n : 
after and by xj of the cloke was he quartered on the 
skaffold, and hys bowelles and ys members burnt be-syd 
the skaffold . . . and so ther was a care [car] and a 
baskete, and the iiij quarters and hed was putt in-to a 
basket to nuwgat to be parboyled (Machyn, p. 60). 

The body was the next day set upon the gallows at 
Hay Hill, near Hyde Park. One execution only took 
place at Tyburn. William Thomas, Clerk to the Council, 
imprisoned in the Tower, tried to commit suicide ; on 
May 9th he was arraigned at Guildhall for conspiring the 
Queen's death, found guilty, and sentenced. 

The xviij day of May was drane a-pon a sled a proper 
man named Wylliam Thomas from the Toure unto 
Tyborne ; ... he was clarke to the consell ; and he 
was hangyd, and after ys hed stryken of, and then 
quartered ; and the morow after ys hed was sett on 
London bryge, and iij quarters set over Crepullgate 
(Machyn, p. 63). 

1 This gallows is shown in Braun & Hogenberg's map of London 
(Athenceum, March 31, 1906 : "A Neglected Map of London"). 


1555. The tenth of May, William Constable, alias 
Fetherstone, a Millers sonne about the age of eighteene 
yeares, who had published King Edw. the 6. to be aliue, 
and sometime named himselfe to bee K. Edw. the 6. was 
taken at Eltham in Kent, and conueyed to Hampton 
court, where being examined by the counsell, hee 
required pardon, & said he wist not what hee did, but 
as he was perswaded by many ; from thence he was 
sent to the Marshalsea, & the 22. of May he was caried 
in a cart through London to Westminster with a paper 
on his head, wherein was written, that he had named 
himselfe to be king Edw. After he had beene carried 
about Westminster hall before the Judges, he was 
whipped a bout the pallace, and through Westminster 
into Smithfield, and then banished into the North, in 
which countrie hee was borne, and had beene sometime 
Lackey to sir Peter Mewtas (Stow, p. 626). 

But William's whipping did not cure him of his 
folly : 

The 26. of February [1556] Willi. Constable alias 
Fetherstone was arraigned in the Guild hall of London, 
who had caused letters to bee cast abrode, that king 
Edward was aliue, and to some he shewed himselfe to 
be king Edward, so that many persons both menne and 
women were troubled by him, for the which sedition the 
said William had bin once whipped and deliuered, as is 
aforesaid : But now he was condemned, and the 13. 
of March he was drawne, hanged and quartered at 
Tyborne (Stow, p. 628). 

1556. The vij day of Marche was hangyd at Tyborne 
x theyffes for robere and odur thynges (Machyn, 
p. 101). 

1556. A conspiracie was made by certaine persons, 
whose purpose was to haue robbed y e Q. exchequer, 
called the receit of the exchequer, in the which there 
was of y 6 Q. treasure about 50000 1. the same time, to the 
intent they might be able to maintaine war against the 


queene. This matter was vttered by one of the con- 
spiracie named White, wherby Vdall [or Woodall], 
Throckmorton, Peckham, lohn Daniel & Stanton were 
apprehended, and diuerse others fled into Fraunce. 

The 28. of Aprill, John Throckmorton and Richard 
Vdall were drawne to Tyborne, and there hanged and 

The 19. of May, William Stanton was likewise executed. 
The 8. of June, William Rossey, lohn Dedike, and lohn 
Bedell were executed at Tyborne (Stow, p. 628). 

[Henry Peckham and John Daniel were, on July 8th, 
hanged and beheaded on Tower Hill.] 

Machyn says that Rossey's head was put on London 
bridge, Bedell's on Ludgate, and Dedike's, or Dethyke's, 
on Aldersgate (p. 107). 

1557. The conspirators who had fled to France on 
the discovery of their plot : there remaining attempted 
diuers times to stirre rebellion within this Realme, by 
sending Bookes, Billes, and Letters, written and printed, 
farced full of vntruthes, and at length the sayd Stafforde 
and other English rebels, and some strangers, entred 
this Realme, on the foure and twentieth of Aprill, & 
tooke by stealth the castle of Skarborough in the countie 
of Yorke, and set out a shamefull proclamation, wherein 
he traiterously called and affirmed the queene to be 
vnrightfull and most vnworthie queene, and that the 
king had brought into this realme the number of twelve 
thousand Spaniardes, and that into their hands were 
deliuered 12. of the strongest holdes in this Realme. In 
which proclamation the sayde Stafforde named himselfe 
Protector and gouernor of this Realme, but hee with the 
other his complices, by the good diligence of the Earle 
of Westmerland and other noble men, were apprehended 
on the last of Aprill. . . . 

The eyght and twentieth day of May, Thomas Stafford 
was beheaded on the tower hill, and on the morrowe 
three of his companie, to wit, Stretchley, Bradford and 


Proctor, were drawne to Tyborne, and there hanged & 
quartered (Stow, pp. 630, 631). 

1556. July 2. We have already learnt how a hang- 
man was hanged in 1538. Under the above date Machyn 
records the execution of another : 

The ij day of July rod in a care [rode in a cart] v. 
unto Tyborne : on was the hangman with the stump-lege 
for stheft [theft], wyche he had hangyd mony a man 
and quartered mony, and hed [beheaded] many a nobull 
man and odur [other] (Machyn, p. 109). 

1557. The sam day [May 25] was hangyd at Tyburne 
xvij ; on was a nold voman of Ix yere, the trongyest 
[strongest ?] cut-purs a voman that has been herd off ; 
and a lad a cut-purs, for ys tyme he be-gane welle 
(Machyn, p. 137). 

Mary died in 1558, and Elizabeth came to the throne. 

1570. The 27. of May, Thomas Norton and Chris- 
topher [Norton] , of Yorkeshire, being both condemned 
of high treason, for the late rebellion in the North, were 
drawne from the Tower of London to Tiborne and there 
hanged, headed, and quartered (Stow, p. 666). 

A tract, the "Confessions" of Thomas Norton and 
Christopher Norton, reprinted in " State Trials," vol. i., 
1083-6, contains particulars of these executions. Thomas, 
the uncle of Christopher, was first hanged and quartered, 
in the presence of his nephew. Then the hangman 
executed his office on Christopher, "and being hanged 
a little while, and then cut down, the butcher opened 
him, and as he took out his bowels, he cried and said, 
' Oh, Lord, Lord, have mercy upon me ! ' and so yielded 
up the ghost. Then being likewise quartered, as the 
other was, and their bowels burned, as the manner is, 
their quarters were put into a basket provided for the 
purpose, and so carried to Newgate, where they were 
parboiled ; and afterwards their heads set on London 
Bridge, and their quarters set upon sundry gates of 
the city of London." 


1570. The 25. of May in the morning, was found 
hanging at the bishop of Londons palace gate in Paules 
church-yard, a Bull, which lately had beene sent from 
Rome containing diuerse horrible treasons against the 
Queenes maiesty for the which one lohn Felton was 
shortly after apprehended, and committed to the tower 
of London. . . . 

The fourth of August . . . was arraigned at Guild hal 
of London lohn Felton, for hanging a bull at the gate 
of the bishop of Londons palace, and also two young 
men, for coyning and clipping of coine, who all were 
found guilty of high treason, and had iudgment to be 
drawne, hanged and quartered. 

The eight of August, lohn Felton was drawne from 
Newgate into Paules Churchyeard, and there hanged on 
a gallowes new set vp that morning before the Bishoppes 
palace gate, and being cut downe aliue, he was bowelled 
and quartered. After this time the same morning the 
sherifs returned to Newgate, and so to Tiborne with 
two young men which were executed for coyning and 
clipping as is aforesaid (Stow, pp. 666-7). 

Here we have the quarrel between the Pope and 
Elizabeth come to a head, with dreadful results to 
English Catholics results extending in an aggravated 
form over centuries. 

In " Pilgrim's Progress " Bunyan describes the Pope 
in his cave, alive, indeed, but "by reason of age, 
and also of the many shrewd brushes that he met 
with in his younger days, grown so crazy and stiff 
in his joints, that he can now do little more than sit 
in his cave's mouth, grinning at pilgrims as they go 
by, and biting his nails because he cannot come at 

A sense of humour, or even a sense of proportion, 
might have counselled to laugh at this impotent railing. 
But there was the temptation, always present to govern- 
ments, to appeal to the ignorance and fanaticism of the 


mass. And behind and above all there was the question 
of the abbey lands : 

"The thief doth fear each bush an officer." 

So for the next hundred years it became the most press- 
ing duty of governments to tear out the bowels of men 
who acknowledged the Pope as spiritual father ; and when 
governments became slack in the work, Parliament 
immediately set up a howl for blood. 

1571. The execution of Dr. John Story is one of the 
horrors of Tyburn : it is further memorable from the 
fact that, as we have seen (p. 64), the triangular gallows, 
destined to become famous as the Triple Tree, first came 
into use on this occasion. 

Dr. Story was a bitter persecutor under Mary. 

There is no more difficult question than that of deter- 
mining how far we must condemn, how far we may 
absolve those, on either side, who used their power to 
inflict punishments on men who differed from them in 
religion. In his " Prince " Machiavelli divides men of 
the ruling class into three categories. There is, in the 
first place, the man who understands of himself ; next 
comes he who understands when a thing is shown to 
him ; last comes he who can neither generate a new 
idea, nor comprehend it when put before him. The 
first, he says, is most excellent ; the second excellent ; 
the third useless. But incapacity to generate new ideas, 
inability to assimilate them, are things not criminal. 
The mass of men will always be found in the third 
category. Dr. Story was not one of those rare spirits 
who rise above the ideas current in their time. 

In this matter of persecution it is impossible for us 
of to-day to place ourselves in the position of men in 
the sixteenth century. Nothing could be more false 
than to represent the reformers as advocates of religious 
liberty. They made no such claim for themselves : they 


would have regarded themselves as traitors to their trust 
if, when their opportunity came, they did not in their 
turn send to the stake the obstinate heretics who refused 
to yield to their arguments and rejected "the truth." 
Latimer could jest in the sermon he preached on the 
occasion of the burning of Friar Forest. 1 Forest, it is 
true, was a Catholic. The reformers persecuted others 
than Catholics, and here it is even more difficult to 
acquit them. Claiming liberty to discard old beliefs, 
they persecuted those who went further than they in 
the same direction. In 1549 was appointed a Com- 
mission, and in 1551 another, with extended scope. 
Among the Commissioners we find Cranmer, Ridley, 
Latimer, Coverdale more than thirty names of the 
brightest lights of the Reformation. They were ap- 
pointed to try heretics Anabaptists and those who 
rejected the Book of Common Prayer to try, to con- 
demn, and to hand over to the civil power. 2 Latimer 
was earnest to persuade the hearers of one of his great 
sermons that to go boldly to death did not prove that 
death was suffered in a righteous cause. He jeered at 
the constancy of the Anabaptists : " The Anabaptistes 
that were brente here in dyuers townes in England, as 
I heard of credible menne (I saw them not my selfe) 
went to their death euen Intrepide. As ye wyll saye, 
with out any feare in the world chearfully. Well, let 
them go." s 

Without reckoning too nicely the allowances to be 
made for the difficulty of achieving emancipation from 
the ideas of one's age, posterity has perhaps done rough 
justice in allowing subsequent martyrdom to atone for 
the errors of those who persecuted. Catholics have 

1 " I played the fool after my customable manner." 

2 Rymer, " Foedera," xv. 181-3, 250-2. At this very time the 
reformers contended " that there is no church in earth that erreth 
not as well in faith as manners." Strype, " Life of Cranmer," p. 203. 

3 Fourth Sermon, 1549, ed. Arber, p. 116. 


beatified Story ; Protestants venerate the memory of 
those who suffered after having enforced the new 
doctrines by the aid of the gallows and the stake. 

After the accession of Elizabeth, Story had more than 
one narrow escape. In 1563 he was imprisoned in the 
Marshalsea, whence he escaped, and, with the aid of the 
chaplain of the Spanish Ambassador, fled to Flanders. 
The Spanish Ambassador disclaimed knowledge of the 
matter, but it may well be that the English Government 
was nettled, and readily lent itself to a plan for capturing 
Story. In his adopted country he received a place in the 
customs. On a certain day in August, 1570, he was 
invited to examine a ship at Bergen-op-Zoom. While 
he was busy in the hold the hatches were shut down on 
him, the sail was hoisted, and the ship sailed for Yar- 
mouth with Story on board. The capture was a great 
event. "The locks and bolts of the Lollards' Tower 
were broken off at the death of queen Mary, and never 
since repaired. Now they were repaired for the recep- 
tion of Dr. Story." I He was executed at Tyburn on 
June i, 1571. He was the object of general execration : 
care was probably taken that he should suffer all the 
torments of the horrible sentence. He was let down 
from the gallows alive, and while the executioner was 
"rifling among his bowels," Story rose and dealt him 
a blow. 

1572, The ii. day of February Kenelme Barney, and 
Edmond Mather were drawne from the Tower of London : 
and Henry Rolfe from the Marshalsea in Southwarke, 
all three to Tyborne, and there hanged, bowelled and 
quartered for treason : Barney and Mather for con- 
spiracie against some of her maiesties priuie counsell, 
and Rolfe for counterfeiting the Q. maiesties hand 
(Stow, p. 670). 

1572. The 28. of Nouember, John Hall gentleman, 
and Oswald Wilkinson late of Yorke, and gailor of 
1 Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1547-80. 


Yorke castle (being before arraigned and condemned 
of treason) were drawne from the Tower of London 
to Tiborne, and there hanged and quartered (Stow, p. 673). 

1573. The 16. of June, Thomas Woodhouse, a priest 
of Lincolnshire, who had lien long prisoner in the 
Fleete, was arraigned in the Guild hall of London, 
and there condemned of high treason, who had iudge- 
ment to be hanged and quartered, and was executed 
at Tyborne the nine-teenth of June (Stow, p. 676). 

1576. The 30. of May, Tho. Greene goldsmith was 
drawne from Newgate of Lond. to Tyborne, and there 
hanged, headed, and quartered, for clipping of coine 
both gold and siluer (Stow, p. 680). 

1578. The third of Februarie, early in the morning, 
lohn Nelson, for denying the Queenes supremacie, and 
such other traiterous words against her maiestie, was 
drawne from Newgate to Tiborne, and there hanged, 
bowelled and quartered (Stow, p. 684). 

1578. The 7. of Februarie, one named Sherewood 
was drawne from the Tower of London to Tyborne, 
and there hanged, bowelled and quartered (Stow, p. 684). 

Thomas Sherwood was a layman. In the Tower he 
was cruelly racked to make him tell where he had 
heard mass. 

1581. The 1 8. of July, Euerard Haunce [Hanse] a 
seminary priest, was in the Sessions hall in the olde 
Baily arraigned, where he affirmed that himselfe was 
subiect to the Pope in ecclesiasticall causes, and that 
the Pope hath now the same authoritie here in England 
that hee had an hundred yeeres past, with other trayterous 
speeches, for the which hee was condemned to bee 
drawne, hanged, bowelled, and quartered, and was 
executed accordingly on the last of July (Stow, p. 694). 

1581. On the 20. of November, Edm. Champion [Cam- 
pion] Jesuit, Ralfe Sherwine, Lucas Kerbie, Edward 
Rishton, Thomas Coteham, Henrie Orton, Robert 
lohnson, and lames Bosgraue, were brought to the 


high bar at Westminster, where they were seuerally, 
and all together indicted vpon high treason, for that con- 
trary both to loue and dutie, they forsooke their natiue 
countrey, to Hue beyond the seas vnder the Popes obedi- 
ence, as at Rome, Rheimes, and diuerse other places, 
where (the pope hauing with other princes practised the 
death and depriuation of our most gracious princesse 
and vtter subuersion of her state and kingdome, to 
aduance his most abhominable religion) these menne 
hauing vowed their alleagiance to the pope, to obey him 
in all causes whatsoeuer, being there, gaue their consent, 
to ayd him in this most trayterous determination. And 
for this intent and purpose they were sent ouer to seduce 
the harts of her maiesties louing subiects, and to con- 
spire and practise her graces death, as much as in them 
lay, against a great daie, set & appoynted, when the 
generall hauocke should be made, those onely reserued 
that ioyned with them. This laid to their charge, they 
boldly denied, but by a iurie they were approoued 
guiltie, and had iudgement to bee hanged, bowelled, and 
quartered (Stow, p. 694). 

The account of the executions of some of these will 
follow. According to Camden, Elizabeth did not at all 
believe them guilty of plotting the destruction of the 
country ; they were tried and executed to take away the 
fear which had possessed many men's minds that religion 
would be altered if she married a foreign prince. 

1581. The first of December, Edmond Champion 
[Campion] Jesuit, Ralfe Sherwine, and Alexander Brian 
seminary priests, were drawne from the tower of London 
to Tyborne, & there hanged, bowelled and quartered 
(Stow, p. 694). 

In writing of the illegal use of torture by Elizabeth's 
Government, under Elizabeth's sanction, reference was 
made to a pamphlet, ascribed to Lord Burghley, "A 
Declaration of the favourable Dealing," &c., issued in 
1583. Here are two passages from the "Declaration" 



relating to Campion and Brian (here called Briant) : 
"That very Campion, I say . . . was never so racked, 
but that he was presently able to walke, and to write." 

" A horrible matter is also made of the starving of one 
Alexander Briant ; how he should eat clay out of the 
walles, gathered water to drinke from the droppings of 
houses, with such other false ostentations of immanitie ; 
where the trueth is this : that whatsoever Briant suffered, 
in want of foode, he suffered the same wilfully, and of 
extreme impudent obstinacie, against the minde and liking 
of those that dealt with him." His gaolers wished to 
have a specimen of his handwriting, and as he refused 
to write, " then was it commaunded to his keeper to give 
unto him such meate, drinke, and other convenient 
necessaries, as he woulde write for ; and to forbeare to give 
him anything for which he woulde not write. But Briant, 
being thereof advertised, and oft moved to write persist- 
ing so in his curst heart, by almost two dayes. and two 
nightes, made choise rather to lacke foode, then to write 
for the sustenance, which he might readely have had for 
writing, and which he had, indede, readely and plenti- 
fully, so soone as he wrote." Thus the Government, or 
the Government's apologist. This was the best case to be 
made out. 

1582. On the 28. day of May, Thomas Ford, lohn 
Shert, & Robert lohnson, priests, hauing bin before 
indicted, arraigned, and condemned for high treason 
intended, as yee haue heard of Champion and other, were 
drawne from the Tower to Tiborne, and there hanged, 
bowelled, and quartered. And on the 30. Luke Kirby, 
William Filby, Thomas Cottam, and Laurence Richard- 
son, were for the like treason in the same place likewise 
executed (Stow, p. 694). 

1584. January 1 1. On the 10. of January at a sessions 
holden in the Justice hall in the Old baily of London, 
for goale deliuery of Newgate, Willi. Carter of the Cittie 
of London, was there indicted, arraigned and condemned 


of high treason, for printing a seditious and trayterous 
booke in English, entituled, A treatise of schisme : and 
was for the same (according to sentence pronounced 
against him) on the next morrowe drawne from Newgate 
to Tyborne, and there hanged, bowelled, and quartered. 
And forthwith against slanderous reports spread abroad 
in seditious bookes, letters, and libels, therby to in- 
flame our countrey-men, & her maiesties subiectes, a 
booke was published, entituled, A declaration of the 
fauourable dealing of her maiesties commissioners, &c. 
(Stow, p. 698).* 

1584. February 12. The 7. of February, were array- 
gned at Westminster lohn Fen [James Fenn] George 
Haddocke [Haydock], lohn Munden, lohn Nutter, 
and Thomas Hemerford, all fiue found guiltie of high 
treason, in being made priestes beyond the seas, and 
by the Popes authoritie, since a statute made in Anno 
primo of her maiesties raygne, and hadde Judgement 
to be hanged, bowelled, & quartered : which were 
all executed at Tyborne on the 12. of February 
(Stow, p. 698). 

1584. The 21. of May, Francis Throckmorton 
Esquire was arraygned in the Guild hall of the cittie 
of London, where being found guiltie of high Treason, 
hee was condemned, & had iudgement to be drawne, 
hanged, bowelled, & quartered. The 10. of July next 
following, the same Francis Throckmorton was con- 
veyed by water from the Tower of London, to the 
Blacke fryers stayres, and from thence by land to the 
sessions hall in the Olde baily without Newgate, where 
hee was deliuered to the sheriffes of London, laid on 
a hurdle, drawne to Tyborne, & there executed accord- 
ing to his iudgement. A discouery of whose treasons, 
practised and attempted against the Queenes maiestie and 

1 This was the tract defending the manner in which torture had 
been used (see pp. 35 and note, 161-2). The treatise printed by 
Carter condemned Catholics for going to Protestant churches. 


the realme, were in the moneth of June published and 
printed in a booke intituled, A true and perfect Declara- 
tion of the treasons practised and attempted by Francis 
Throckmorton, &C. 1 (Stow, p. 628). 

1585. July 6. The fift of July, Thomas Aufield 
[Alfield], a seminarie priest, and Thomas Welley 
[Webley] diar, were arraygned at the sessions hall 
in the Old baily, found guiltie, condemned and had 
iudgement, as felons to be hanged : for publishing 
of books containing false, seditious, and slaunderous 
matter, to the defamation of our Soueraygne lady 
the Queene, these were on the next morrow executed 
at Tyborne accordingly 2 (Stow, p. 708). 

1586. The 19. of January, Nicholas Deuorox [Nicholas 

1 This was also published in Latin and in Dutch. It is reprinted 
in the Harleian Mis., vol. iii. Throckmorton was put on the rack but 
made no admissions. Threatened again with the rack, he " volun- 
tarily " made a confession which he afterwards withdrew. But this 
sufficed. The crime charged against him was "bringing in of 
Foreigners into England, and deposing the Queen" (Camden, in 
Kennett's " Complete History," ii. 497-8). 

s This case brings to our notice a third pamphlet issued by the 
Government in defence of its proceedings. This was entitled, 
" The Execution of Justice in England, for Maintenance of pub- 
lique and Christian Peace, against certeine Stirrers of Sedition, and 
Adherents to the Traytours and Enemies of the Realme, without any 
Persecution of them for Questions of Religion, as is falsely reported 
and published by the Fautors and Fosterers of their Treasons : xvii. 
December, 1583." Reprinted in Harleian Mis., ii. 137-55, an d in 
Somer's Tracts, i. 189-208. 

This also has been ascribed to Lord Burghley. It is a defence of 
the penal laws against Catholics. A recent Act, 23 Eliz. (1581) c. i, 
made it high treason, punishable with drawing, hanging, and 
quartering, to convert any one to the*Church of Rome, or to be 

It is proverbially dangerous to argue with the master of legions; 
it was equally dangerous to argue with the mistress of the rack, the 
gallows, and the ripping-knife. Alfield and Webley had circulated 
copies of an answer to " The Execution of Justice in England." They 
experienced this " Justice " in consequence ; were tortured in prison 
and afterwards hanged. 

Wheeler, Woodfen, or Devereux] was condemned for 
treason, in being made a Seminarie priest at Rhemes 
in Fraunce, since the feast of Saynt lohn Baptist in Anno 
primo of her Maiesties raygne, and in remaining here after 
the term of fortie dayes after the session of the last 
parliament. Also Edmond Barbar [Edward Strancham] 
being made a priest as aforesayd, and comming into this 
realme after the sayd terme of fortie dayes, was likewise 
condemned of treason, and both drawne to Tyborne, and 
there hanged, bowelled, and quartered on the 21. of 
January (Stow, p. 718). 

1586. The 18. of Aprill, in the assises holden at 
London in the Justice hall, Willi. Thomson alias Black- 
borne made priest at Rhemes, and Richard Lea alias 
Long [his real name was Sergeant] made priest at Lyons 
in France, and remainging here contrarie to the statute, 
were both condemned, and on the twentith day of Aprill 
drawne to Tiborne, and there hanged, bowelled, and 
quartered (Stow, p. 719). 

1586. The 1 8. of June, Henry Elks clearke and 
batchelor of art, for counterfeiting the queens signe 
manuel to the presentation of the parsonage of Alsaints 
in Hastings, directed to the Archbishop of Canterburie, 
or to his commissarie generall (the dioces of Chichester 
being voyd) that he might be instituted parson there, was 
drawne to Tyborne, and there hanged, bowelled, and 
quartered (Stow, p. 719). 

The 8. of October ... I. Low [John Lowe] I. Adams 
[John Adams], and Richard Dibdale, being before con- 
demned for treason, in being made Priests by authority 
of the Bishop of Rome, were drawne to Tyborne, and 
there hanged, bowelled, and quartered (Stow, p. 740). 

1588. August. The 26. of August, at the sessions hal 
without Newgate of London, were condemned 6. persons, 
for being made priests beyond the seas, & remaining in 
this realme contrary to a statute thereof made, 4. tem- 
porall men for being reconciled to the Romane Church ; 


& 4. other for releeuing & abetting the others. And 
on the 28. W. Deane, & H. Webley, were hanged 
at y e Miles : end. W. Gunter at the Theater, R. Moorton 
& Hugh Moore at Lincolnes Inne fields, Tho. Acton 
[Thomas Holford] at Clarkenwell, Tho. Felton & lames 
Clarkson [Claxton] betweene Brainford & Hounslow. 
And on the 30. of August, R. Flower, Ed. Shelley, 
R. Leigh, R. Martine, I. Roch, & Margaret Ward gentle- 
woman (which Margaret hadde conueyed a cord to a 
priest in Bridewell, whereby he let himself downe & 
escaped) were hanged at Tiborne (Stow, p. 749-50). 

1590. The ii. of July, 16. fellons hanged at Tyborn 
(Stow, " Summary," p. 427). 

1591. The 10. of December 3. Seminary priests for 
being in this realm contrary to the statute and 4. other, 
for relieuing them, were executed, two of them, to wit, 
a Seminary named Ironmonger [Edmund Genings], and 
Swithen Wels, gentleman, in Grayes Inne field, Blaston 
[Polydore Plasden] and White, Seminaries, and three 
other their abbettors at Tyborne (Stow, p. 764). [The 
names of these three others were, Bryan Lacy, Sydney 
Hodson, and John Mason]. In "The Life and Death of 
Mr. Edmund Geninges Priest, Crowned with Martyrdome 
at London the 10. day of November (sic) in the yeare 
MDXCI. S. Omers, 1614," is an account of the trial and 
execution. Wells on returning to London found his 
house shut up, and was told that his wife was in Newgate. 
He went to Justice Yonge to ask for restitution of wife 
and keys, when he was at once sent to Newgate. He 
pleaded that he was not aware of the doings in his house. 
"Then the Justice . . . told him in playne termes, he 
came time inough to taste of the sauce, although he were 
ignorant how the meate sauoured." The manner of the 
execution of Edmund Genings is thus told : 

He being ripped vp, & his bowelles cast into the 
fire, if credit may be giuen to hundreds of People 
standing by, and to the Hangman himselfe, the blessed 

a norma, decent vanter wars tunxertf 

duo 'J'hcffA pec tor a, ncxa, 




Martyr vttered (his hart being in the Executioners hand) 
these words, Sancte Gregori ora pro me, which the Hang- 
man hearing, with open mouth swore this damnable oath ; 
Gods woundes, See his hart is in my hand, and yet 
Gregory in his mouth ; 6 egregious Papist ! 

1592. January 22. William Patenson, condemned 
as a priest, drawn, hanged, and quartered at Tyburn. 
(Challoner's Memoirs pt. i. p. 147). 

June 23. Roger Ashton executed at Tyburn for procur- 
ing from Rome a dispensation to enable him to marry 
his cousin (Challoner's Memoirs, pt. i. p. 148). 

1593. The 21. of March, Henry Barrow, gentleman, 
lohn Greenewood clarke, Daniel Studley girdler, Saxio 
Billot, gentleman, Robert Bowley, Fishmonger, were 
indicted of Felony at the sessions hall without New- 
gate beefore the Maior, the two lord Chiefe Justices 
of both benches, and sundry of the Judges & other 
commissioners of Oyer and determiner ; the sayd 
Barrow and Greenwood for writing sundry seditious 
bookes, tending to the slaunder of the Queene and 
state ; Studley, Billot, and Bowley, for publishing and 
setting foorth the same Bookes, and on the 23. they 
were all arraygned at Newgate, found guiltie, and had 
iudgement. On the last of March Henry Barrow and 
lohn Greenwood were brought to Tyborne in a carre, 
and there fastened to the Gallowes, but being stayde and 
returned for the time, they were there hanged on the sixt 
of Aprill (Stow, p. 764-5). 

1594. The 18. of February, [William] Harington, a 
seminarie priest, was drawne from Newgate to Tyborne, 
& there hanged, cut downe aliue, struggled with the 
hang-man, but was bowelled & quartered (Stow, p. 766). 

1594. The last of February, Rodericke Loppez, a 
Portingale (as it was said) professing physicke, was 
arraygned in the Guild hall of London, found guiltie, 
and had iudgement as of high treason, for conspiring 
her Maiesties destruction by poyson. 


The 7. of June, Rodericke Loppez, with the other two 
Portingales . . . were conuayd by water from West- 
minster to the Bishoppe of Winchesters staires in 
Southwarke, from thence to the K. bench, there laid 
on hurdles, and conuayd by the Sheriffes of London 
ouer the bridge, vp to Leaden hall, and so to Tyborne, 
& there hanged, cut downe aliue, holden downe by 
strength of men, dismembred, bowelled, headed & 
quartered, their quarters set on the gates of the cittie 
(Stow, p. 766, 768). 

Camden's account of this affair (greatly abbreviated) 
is that certain Spaniards prevailed on Roderigo Lopez, 
a Portuguese Jew, the Queen's physician, Stephen 
Ferreira Gama, and Emanuel Loisie, both Portuguese, 
to poison the Queen. The convictions were obtained 
on the strength of confessions. " How far," says 
Lingard, " these confessions made in the Tower, and 
probably on the rack, are deserving of credit, may be 
doubted" (ed. 1849, vol. vi. p. 554). 

It is a strange feature in the case that while Camden, 
like Stow, speaks of the execution of all three, Lingard 
shows that Ferreira was saved. 

The probability seems to be that Lopez fell a victim 
to the rivalry between Essex and the Cecils, each eager 
to prove greater zeal in the Queen's service. 1 

Arising out of similar plots, real or pretended, were at 
this time other executions : 

On March 2, 1594, an Irish fencing master was 
hanged and quartered at Tyburn for a design to kill 
the Queen (Camden : Stow, "Summary," p. 439), and " in 
less than two months from the beginning" of 1595, 
Edmund Yorke and Richard Williams were for the 
same reason executed at Tyburn (Camden, in Kennett's 
" Complete History," ii. p. 532). 

1595. The 20. of February, Robert Southwell, a 

1 For an account of Lopez see "A History of the Jews in 
England," by Mr. Albert M. Hyamson, 1908, pp. 136-9. 

u sit amor pifta.stL la.cram me fanj.'*rf dexfaam: 

7 / J If % -7 ' JT'L ' & 
cAe loco vollev; ccdere tut/it amor , 

TOX ^^ ?> ^- ?{g ^^ ^^iH ^^-^'^^ '^ -""' 



Jesuit, was arraygned at the Kinges Bench barre, and 
the next day executed at Tyborne (Stow, p. 768). 

Southwell was not only a Jesuit and martyr, but a poet 
of whom Ben Jonson said that he would willingly have 
destroyed many of his own poems could he have claimed 
the authorship of Southwell's " Burning Babe." 

Southwell was ordained priest in 1584. With a full 
knowledge of the danger he incurred, he desired to go 
to England as a missionary priest. He landed in 
England in 1588. After many narrow escapes he was 
at last arrested by Topcliffe, the English Torquemada, 
in 1592, kept in prison for more than two years, and 
so brutally tortured and ill-used that his father peti- 
tioned Elizabeth that he might at once suffer death if 
guilty, or be better treated. Southwell had inspired 
sympathy, for at his execution the bystanders prevailed 
on the executioner to let him hang till dead. 

1598. The 25. of January, one named Ainger was 
hanged at Tyborne, for wilfully and secretly murther- 
ing of his owne father a Gentleman and Counsellor of 
the Law at Graies Inne, in his chamber there (Stow, 
p. 786). 

About the middle of November, 1597, a body was 
found floating on the Thames, and was identified as 
that of Richard Ainger, Anger, or Aunger, "a double 
reader " of Gray's Inn, who had been missing for some 
time. On view of the body the surgeons gave it as their 
opinion that Ainger had met his death, not by drowning, 
but by suffocation, and that the body had been thrown 
into the river after death. Suspicion attached to one of 
his sons, Richard, and to Edward Ingram, a porter of 
the Inn. 

The Privy Council addressed a letter to Mr. Recorder 
of London, Mr. Topcliffe, Nicholas Fuller, William 
Gerrard, and Mr. Altham, requiring them to examine 
strictly the two suspected persons, "and yf by those 
persuasions and other meanes you shall use you shall 


not be able to bring them to confesse the truthe of this 
horrible facte, then we require you to put them both or 
either of them to the manacles in Bridewell, that by 
compulsory meanes the truthe of this wicked murther 
may be discovered, and who were complices and privy 
to this confederacy and fact " (" Acts of the Privy Coun- 
cil," New Series, xxviii. 187). The case is interesting as 
showing that torture was at this time used in ordinary 
criminal cases. All the dictionaries speak of manacles 
as instruments of restraint merely. In the present case 
they were evidently an instrument of torture. Its nature 
must have been well known to Shakespeare's audiences, 
for in " The Tempest," referred to the year 1610, Prospero 
says : 

" I'll manacle thy neck and feet together " 

(Act I., sc. 2). 

From the Middlesex Sessions Rolls we learn that the 
murder was done on the night of November i2th. 
Richard Ainger the younger, Agnes, his wife, and 
Edward Ingram were tried for the crime. Richard and 
his wife pleaded Guilty, and were sentenced to be hanged. 
From Stow's account it would appear that Richard alone 
was hanged. Ingram was found Not Guilty (Middlesex 
County Records, i. 241). 

1598. On the tenth of July, 19. persons for fellony 
were hanged at Tyborne, & one pressed to death at 
Newgate of London (Stow, p. 787). 

1598. The ninth of November, Edward Squire, of 
Greenewich was arraigned at Westminster condemned 
of high Treason, and on the 13. drawne from the 
Tower to Tyborne, and there hanged, bowelled, and 
quartered (Stow, p. 787). 

1601. After the capture of Essex 

On the 1 2th of February, Thomas Lea (a kinsman of 
Sir Henry Lea's, who had wore the Honour of the 
Garter) told Sir Robert Crofts, Captain of a Man of 


War, that 'twould be a glorious Enterprize for six 
brave mettl'd Fellows to go to the Queen, and compel 
her to discharge Essex, Southampton, and the rest that 
were in Prison. He was a Man himself of great 
Assurance and Resolution, had Commanded a Com- 
pany in Ireland, was very intimate with Tir-Oen, and 
an absolute Creature of the Earl of Essex's. This did 
Crofts immediately discover to the Council ; insomuch 
that Lea was sought for, and found in the dusk of the 
Evening about the door of the Q.'s Privy-Chamber. 
He seem'd very Thoughtful, was extreamly Pale, and 
in a great Sweat, and frequently ask'd, Whether her 
Majesty was ready to go to Supper ? And, Whether 
the Council would be there ? In this Posture he was 
seiz'd and Examin'd, the next day had his Trial, and 
by Crofts's Evidence and his own Confession, condemn'd 
and carried away to Tyburn, where he own'd that he had 
been indeed a great Offender ; but as to this Design, was 
very Innocent ; and having moreover protested, that he 
had never entertain'd the least ill Thought against the 
Queen, he was there executed. And this, as the Times 
were, appear'd a very seasonable piece of Rigour. 1 

1601. The xxvii.of February, Marke Bakworth [Bark- 
worth], and Thomas Filcoks [Roger Filcock], were 
drawne to Tyborne, and there hanged, & quartered, 
for comming into the Realme contrary to the statute. 
Also the same day, and in the same place, was hanged 
a Gentlewoman, called Mistris Anne Line, a widow, for 
relieuing a priest contrary to the same statute (Stow, 
p. 794). 

The crime for which Mistress Line suffered was that, 
Mass having been said in her house, she assisted the 
priest in his escape. 

An account of these executions is given in Hist. MSS. 

1 Camden's " History of Q. Elizabeth," in Kennett's " History," 
ii. 632. Lingard says : " No man who will read a report of his 
trial can entertain a doubt of his innocence." 


Commission, MSS. of the Duke of Rutland, 1888, i. 

369, 37- 

Mr. Barkwey cominge to the hurdle prayed and with 
a chearfull voyce and smylinge countenance sunge all 
the waye he went to execution. 

The 2yth daye of Februarie 1600 [1601], beinge the 
first Friday in Lent, the said Mr. Barkwey was brought 
to Tyborne there to be executed. Cominge up into the 
carte in his blacke habite, his hoode being taken of, his 
heade beinge all shaven but for a rounde circle on the 
nether parte of his heade, and his other garment taken 
of also, beinge turned into his sherte, having a pare of 
hose of haere, most joyfully and smylingly looked up 
directly to the heavens and blessed him with the signe 
of the crosse, sayinge, "In nomine Patris, Filii et Spiritus 
Sancti, Amen." Then he turned himselfe towardes the 
gallowe tree wheron he was to suffer, made the signe of 
the crosse theron and kissed it and the rope also, the 
which beinge put about his necke, he turned himselfe 
and with a chearfull smylinge countenance and pleasant 
voyce sunge in manner and forme followinge, viz. : 
" Haec est dies Domini gaudeamus, gaudeamus, gau- 
deamus in ea " usinge the same very often with these 
wordes, viz. : " In manus tuas, Domine, commendo 
spiritum meiim." Also he used these speaches to the 
people " I doe confesse that I am one of the Blessed 
Societie after the holy order of St. Benedicte." The 
minister called on him to be penitent for his sinnes, 
and he said, " Hold thy peace, thou arte a simple fel- 
lowe." Then the minister wild him to remember that 
Christ Jesus dyed for him. And he, elevatinge his eyes 
to heaven and holdinge the rope in his handes being 
festned together so highe as he could reache, aunswered 
" And so doe I for him, and I would I had a thousand, 
thousand lyves to bestowe upon him in this cause," 
sayinge " et majorem charitatem nemo habet." And then 
turninge himselfe againe, sunge as before, and desired all 


Catholiques to praye for him, and he would praye for 
them. And beinge asked if he would praye for the 
Queene he saied, " God blesse her, and send her and me 
to meete joyfully in heaven," and prayed also for Mr. 
Recorder who pronounced judgment against him, and 
for Mr. Wade, Ingleby, Parrat, and Singleton, who were 
the prosecutors of his death. And the carte beinge 
drawne awaye, in his goinge of from the carte saied the 
same wordes as before, " Haec est dies Domini ; gau- 
deamus in ea" and beinge presently cut downe, he 
stoode uprighte on his feete and strugled with the 
Executioners, cryinge, " Lord, Lord, Lord," and beinge 
holden by the strengthe of the executioners on the 
hurdle in dismembringe of him he cryed, " O God," and 
so he was quartered. 

[I omit the account of the execution of Roger Filcock.] 

There was executed also one Mistriss Lynde [Anne 
Line], condempned at the Sessions house the 26th day 
of February for the escape of a supposed preist. Her 
weakness was suche that she was carryed to the said 
Sessions betwixt two in a chaire. 

There was also condempned with her one Ralphe 
Slyvell for rescuinge the said supposed preist, but re- 
pry ved. 

The said Mistriss Lynde, carryed the next daye to her 
execution, many tymes in the waye was stayed and urged 
by the minister who urged what meanes he could to per- 
swade her to convert from her professed faithe and opinion, 
most constantlie persevered therin and so was brought 
to the place of execution and there shewed the cause of 
her cominge thither, and beinge further urged amongest 
other thinges by the minister that she had bene a com- 
mon receavor of many preistes she aunswered, " Where 
I have receaved one I would to God I had bene able to 
have receaved a thousand." She behaved herself most 
meekely, patiently, and vertuously to her last breath. She 
kissed the gallowes and before and after her private 


prayers blessinge herself, the carte was drawne awaye, and 
she then made the signe of the crosse uppon her, and after 
that never moved. 

1601. The 13. of March, sir Gilley Merike Knight, 
and Henry Cuffe Gentleman, were drawne to Tyborne, 
the one from the Tower, the other from Newgate, and 
there hanged, bowelled, and quartered, as being actors 
with the late Earle of Essex. They both dyed very reso- 
lutely (Stow, p. 794). 

Merrick was the steward and Cuff the secretary of the 

1601. August 24. Thomas Hackshot, and Nicholas 
Tichburne, laymen, rescued a priest, Thomas Tichburne, 
from the custody of a constable. The two were arrested, 
condemned and executed at Tyburn (Challoner's Me- 
moirs, pt. i., p. 206). 

1602. The xviii. of Aprill Peter Bullocke, stationer, 
and one named Ducket, for printing of Bookes offensiue 
were Hanged at Tyborne (Stow, p. 803). 

This is a very bald account of an interesting case. 
James Duckett was a convert from Protestantism. As 
an apprentice he more than once got into trouble for 
his opinions ; and his master, thinking that he himself 
might be involved, at last gave back the indenture to 
Duckett. Duckett now maintained himself by dealing 
in Catholic books, a commerce which frequently got 
him into prison, where it is said that he spent nine years 
out of twelve. A bookbinder, the Peter Bullocke men- 
tioned above, lay in prison under sentence of death, and 
hoping to receive "a pardon, informed against Duckett, 
a former customer. Duckett's house was searched, popish 
books were discovered, and Duckett was condemned to 
death. The informer did not receive the reward of his 
betrayal ; the informer and his victim rode to Tyburn in 
the same cart (Challoner's Memoirs, pt. i., pp. 207-9). 

The xx. of Aprill, Stichborne [Thomas Tichburn], 
W. Kenson [Robert Watkinson], and lames Page 


[Francis Page], Semenarie Priestes, were drawne to 
Tyborne, and there hanged, bowelled, and quartered, 
for comming into this Realme, contrary to the Statute 
of Anno. 27, &c. (Stow, p. 803). 

Thomas Tichburn is the priest for the rescue of whom 
his cousin Nicholas Tichburn, and Thomas Hackshot 
suffered in 1601. Page was the priest who was cele- 
brating Mass in Mistress Line's house in 1601, but con- 
trived to escape. 

1603. The xvii. of Februarie, W. Anderson [or 
Richardson] a Seminary Priest was drawne to Tyborne 
and there hanged, bowelled and quartered, for being 
found in England contrary to the statute of Anno. 27. 
(Stow, p. 812). 

Anderson was the last of Elizabeth's victims ; she died 
a few weeks later. 

1604. Master Robert Dow of London Merchant 
Taylor, in his most Christian charitie, pitying the 
miserable or rather desperate Estate of the poore con- 
demned prisoners in Newgate, where very often and 
very many of them after Judgement of Death, and at 
their very Execution remaine most carelesse of their 
Soules health, Jesting and deriding their imminent 
danger and to the Judgement of the world die reprobate. 

Upon tender Consideration whereof, and good hope 
of after reformation of such poore prisoners there, as 
through temptation of Sathan are, and will be too apt 
to fall into like danger the sayd Master Dow hath giuen 
competent Maintainance for ever, vnto Saint Sepulchers 
parish for the towling of the great Bell and for some 
especiall man, by them to bee appointed to come to the 
sayd Prison, the midnight before execution, and then 
distinctly and solemnly to ring a hand bell : then to pro- 
nounce with a lowd voice at the prison grate, a Godly and 
Christian remembrance on exhortation, appoynted by the 
Lord Bishoppe, beginning thus. 

O ye prisoners within condemned, this day to dye, 


remember your sinnes, call to God for Grace, whilst yet 
you have time. 

And in the Morning when they are in the Cart, iust 
against the Church, the partie aforesayd to put them in 
minde againe of their former Hues, and present death, 
saying the great bell of this Church, which I told you 
last night should Toll for you from sixe of the clocke 
vntil ten, now tolleth to the end to moue good people to 
pray to God for you whilest your selues with them may 
pray for remission of your sinnes, &c. And at ten 
a clocke or at such time as knowledge may be truely had 
of the Prisoners execution the sayd great Bell shall bee 
rung out for the space of a quarter of an houre, (to the 
end all people may understand the execution is past) and 
then cease (Stow, pp. 862). 

We are now in the reign of James I. In 1605 was the 
Gunpowder Plot, the memory of which is still kept alive 
by bonfires, and by the farcical search of the cellars of the 
Houses of Parliament. Gunpowder Plot does not come 
into the Annals of Tyburn, as none of the conspirators 
suffered here. 

1607. February 26. Robert Drury, priest, for being 
in England, executed at Tyburn (Challoner's Memoirs, 
pt. ii., pp. 13-5). 

1608. The ii. of Aprill, George leruis [Gervase or 
Jarvis] a Seminary priest, according to his iudgement 
was executed at Tyborne (Stow, p. 893). 

The 23. of June, Thomas Garnet, a Jesuite was executed 
at Tyborne, hauing fauor offred him, if he would haue 
taken the oath of alleageance aforesayd, but he refused it 
(Stow, p. 893). 

Thomas Garnet was related to Father Henry Garnet, 
executed for the Gunpowder Plot in 1606. Thomas 
Garnet was convicted on evidence that while a prisoner 
in the Tower he had written in several places " Thomas 
Garnet priest." The Earl of Exeter, one of the Privy 
Council, present at the execution, would not suffer the 


rope to be cut till the victim was quite dead (Challoner's 
Memoirs, pt. ii., pp. 17-9). 

1610. December 10. John Roberts, and Thomas 
Somers, or Watson, or Wilson. These were priests. 
Roberts was apprehended for the fifth time at Mass and 
hurried away in his vestments. Somers had been 
deported, together with about a score of priests, earlier 
in the year, but returned to England. With Roberts and 
Somers were executed sixteen persons condemned for 
various offences. The priests were suffered to hang till 
they were dead and then bowelled, beheaded, and 
quartered, and buried with the sixteen in a pit 
(Challoner's Memoirs, pt. ii., p. 37). 

1612. William Scot and Richard Newport, or Smith. 
These were missionary priests who had been banished 
but returned to England (Challoner's Memoirs, pt. ii., 
pp. 39-44). 

The burning of Protestant heretics went on through 
the reigns of Elizabeth and James " the fires of Smith- 
field " were not extinguished by the death of " bloody 
Mary." Anabaptists and Arians were burnt, the printers, 
the distributors, even in one case the binder, of books 
"seditiously penned against the Book of Common 
Prayer " were hanged. 

It is painful to find the genial Howell writing thus in 

1635 : 

I rather pity than hate Turk or Infidel, for they are 
of the same metal and bear the same stamp as I do, 
tho' the Inscriptions differ. If I hate any, 'tis those 
Schismaticks that puzzle the sweet peace of our Church, 
so that I could be content to see an Anabaptist go to 
Hell on a Brownist's back ("Familiar Letters," ed. Jacob, 

P- 337)- 

December 5. John Almond, condemned for having 
taken orders beyond the seas and for remaining in the 
kingdom, drawn, hanged and quartered (Challoner's 
Memoirs, pt. ii., pp. 44-51). 


1615. The murder of Sir Thomas Overbury is, with 
the possible exception of the supposed murder of Sir 
Edmund Berry Godfrey, a little more than sixty years 
later, the greatest of all English causes celebres. The 
story involves many persons of high rank, including 
one in the highest, King James himself ; its events are 
extremely complicated, and some details are of a nature 
requiring delicate handling in the telling. It has been 
told, after the fullest study of the facts, by Mr. Andrew 
Amos, in "The Great Oyer of Poisoning," 1846, a volume 
of over five hundred pages, of which indeed many are 
filled with digressions seriously interfering with the 
narrative. It is not possible to give here more than the 
barest outline of the case. 

Sir Thomas Overbury has a place in English literature 
as a prose writer and poet whose works have not been 
wholly forgotten. He was also a courtier in the Court 
of James, compared with which that of Charles II. was 
almost pure. James's correct attitude towards " the 
Bishop of Rome" has, however, saved him from the 
severe criticisms passed on Charles, of more than doubt- 
ful orthodoxy. Some of the details in Harington's " Nugae 
Antiquae " might be held to suggest that Milton had in 
view the Court of James when he wrote of the rabble of 
Comus, who forgot everything but 

" To roll with pleasure in a sensual sty." 

Overbury, after leaving Oxford, made a tour on the 
Continent, returning from his travels a finished gentle- 
man. In 1601, on a visit to Scotland, he met Robert 
Carr, then a page in a noble family. Hence arose a close 
intimacy destined to be fatal to Overbury. On the acces- 
sion of James to the English throne, Carr, James's 
"favourite," rose rapidly; he became Viscount Rochester. 
Carr and Overbury played into one another's hands : 
Carr procured a knighthood for Overbury, Overbury 
became the mentor of Carr, who had neither learning 


nor the graces of a Court. The fatal woman now comes 
on the scene. At the age of thirteen, Frances Howard, 
daughter of the Earl of Suffolk, was married to the Earl 
of Essex, a year older. Their friends agreed that it was 
yet too early for the pair to live together ; the boy went 
on his travels, the girl to her mother. On his return, 
Essex found his wife acknowledged as the greatest beauty 
in the Court, the object of general adoration. Among her 
admirers was Carr, for whom she had conceived a passion 
which knew no bounds. Overbury had been instrumental 
in bringing together Carr and the lady ; it was he who 
wrote the love-letters to which Carr owed the conquest 
of the countess's heart. The lady naturally hated her 
husband, whose return interfered with her way of life : 
it was only in obedience to the King's command that she 
consented to live with Essex. The lady and her lover 
formed the design of procuring a divorce from Essex, 
preparatory to their marriage. Overbury strongly ob- 
jected ; he spoke of the countess to Carr in terms which, 
repeated to the lady, fixed his doom. It was contrived 
that the King should offer to Overbury a foreign appoint- 
ment. This Carr advised him to refuse, and then repre- 
sented the refusal to James in such a light that on April 2ist 
Overbury was thrown into the Tower. The lieutenant 
and the under-keeper of the Tower were displaced in 
favour of officers on whom Carr and his mistress could 
rely, and the work of despatching Overbury began. 
Poisons were procured from Franklin, a physician, by 
Mrs. Turner, and sent in tarts and jellies to the Tower, 
where Weston, the under-keeper, took charge of them. 
Overbury was drenched with rosealgar, sublimate of 
mercury, arsenic, diamond powder. It was averred that 
he had swallowed poison enough to kill twenty men. He 
died on September 15, 1613. 

The business of the divorce now went on without 
hindrance. To be rid of his wife, Essex was ready 
enough to allow a slur to be cast on his manhood ; with 


the aid of the lawyers, the churchmen, a complaisant 
jury of matrons, and a young lady who, with muffled 
head, personated the countess for the occasion, the 
divorce was carried through. In view of the approach- 
ing marriage, Carr was created Earl of Somerset, and on 
December 26 the marriage took place. With magnificent 
effrontery, the lady was married " in her hair," the mark 
of a virgin-bride. 

But some time afterwards an apothecary's boy, who 
had been got out of the way, and was now at Flushing, 
began to talk of what he knew ; inquiry was made, and 
in the end the criminals were put upon their trial. On 
October 23, 1615, Richard Weston, the under-keeper of 
the Tower, was hanged at Tyburn. He was followed by 
Mrs. Turner, hanged on November 9th, at the same 
place ; on the 2oth Sir Gervase Elwes, the lieutenant of 
the Tower, was executed on Tower Hill, and on 
December 9th, James Franklin, the physician, was 
executed at St. Thomas a Waterings. 

In the following year the countess was tried in West- 
minster hall, pleaded guilty, and was condemned. The 
next day the earl was brought to trial by his peers in 
the same place, and also found guilty. Neither was 
executed ; each received a pardon. They lived together 
afterwards in the same house, hating one another with 
a perfect hatred ; the countess died of a loathsome 

There are mysteries in the case remaining mysteries 
after the most careful study of the facts. In spite of all 
attempts made to persuade Somerset to plead guilty, and 
throw himself on the King's mercy, he steadfastly refused. 
Mr. Amos inclines to believe him innocent of complicity 
in the murder. There are serious difficulties in the way 
of this theory, but it is certain that Somerset had the 
means of terrifying the King. Secret messages passed 
between the Tower and the palace, informing the king 
that the prisoner had threatened to refuse to go to the 


Court of his own will. Bacon consulted the judges as to 
what could be done to silence Somerset if he "should 
break forth into any speech of taxing the King." At the 
trial two servants were placed, one on either side of the 
prisoner, with a cloak on his arm. Their orders were 
that if Somerset "flew out" on the King, they should 
instantly throw the cloaks over his head, and carry him 
by force from the bar. 

Was James an accomplice in the murder of Overbury ? 
Mayerne, the -King's physician, attended Overbury in the 
Tower and prescribed for him. Mayerne was not pro- 
duced as a witness, nor were his prescriptions put in 

Or is the mystery connected with the death of Prince 
Henry, James's son ? The Prince was seized with sudden 
illness almost immediately after dining with his father. 
" In Mayerne's collection of cases for which he wrote 
prescriptions," says Mr. Amos, "everything that relates 
to Prince Henry's last illness is torn out of the book." 

We can but fall back on the certainty that Somerset 
had it in his power to make some revelation of which 
James was terribly afraid. 1 

1616. July i. Thomas Maxfield, a missionary priest, 

1 1618. March i. Touching the News of the Time : Sir George 
Villiers, the new Favourite, tapers up apace, and grows strong at 
Court : His Predecessor the Earl of Somerset hath got a Lease of 
90 years for his Life, and so hath his Articulate Lady, called so, for 
articling against the frigidity and impotence of her former Lord. 
She was afraid that Coke, the Lord Chief Justice (who had used 
such extraordinary art and industry in discovering all the circum- 
stances of the poisoning of Overbury) would have made white Broth 
of them, but that the Prerogative kept them from the Pot : yet the 
Subservient Instruments, the lesser Flies could not break thorow, 
but lay entangled in the Cobweb ; amongst others Mistress Turner, 
the first inventress of yellow Starch, was executed in a Cobweb 
Lawn Ruff of that colour at Tyburn, and with her I believe that 
yellow Starch, which so much disfigured our Nation, and rendered 
them so ridiculous and fantastic, will receive its Funeral. (Howell's 
" Familiar Letters," ed. Jacobs, 1890, p. 20). 


drawn, hanged, and quartered at Tyburn. It is said that 
on the occasion of Maxfield's execution, the gallows was 
adorned with garlands and wreaths of flowers. Thirteen 
criminals were executed at the same time. The Sheriff 
called on the hangman to cut down Maxfield while still 
alive, as indeed the law required, but this was opposed by 
the people, and the victim was suffered to hang till dead 
(Challoner, pt. ii. pp. 62-3). 

We now come to the reign of Charles I. 

1626. The visit of the queen, Henrietta Maria, to 
Tyburn has been mentioned (p. 65). 

1628. This Summer there was a great Army prepared 
for forraigne seruice, whereof the Duke of Buckingham 
was Generall, who went to Portsmouth, to set all things 
in readinesse for present dispatch : And vpon Saturday 
the 23. of August, as hee was going thorow his Hall, 
which was filled with Commaunders, and strangers, 
suddainly and vnexpectedly lohn Felton a Lieutenant, 
stabd the Duke into the breast, with a knife, and slily 
withdrew himselfe, vndiscerned of any to doe the fact, the 
Duke stepping to lay hold on him, drew out the knife 
and began to stagger, the bloud gashing out at his mouth, 
at which dreadfull sight, certaine Commanders with their 
strength held him vp, the Duke being depriued of speech 
and life. And then all the doores and passages being 
stopped, and many with their weapons drawne to kill the 
Murtherer, the offender himselfe seeing the vproare, 
boldly confessed, saying, I am the man that did it, and 
being examined by the Lords, was committed. The King 
at that time was but sixe miles from Portsmouth : The 
Corpes was brought to London, on Saturday the 30. of 
August, the Nobility, Friends, and Officers brought the 
Corpes by night with Torches lighted to Wallingford 
house neere Charing-Crosse : the Murtherer was brought 
to the Tower the 5. of September. 


Thursday the 27. of Nouember, the aforenamed lohn 
Felton, was brought from the Tower, and Arraigned at 
the Kings Bench, where he very penitently confessed the 
fact, saying, I haue slaine a most Noble loyall Subiect, 
and wish that this my right hand might be here cut off, 
as a true testimony of my hearty sorrow, and had his 
Judgement to be hanged : from thence he was sent to the 
Gate-house, where he remained till Saturday, and then 
sent to Tibourne, and there executed, where hee humbly 
and heartily repented his offence, and asked forgiuenesse 
of God, the King, and the Dutchesse, and of all the Land, 
saying, he had slaine a most Noble loyall Subiect, and 
desired all men do pray for him. The next day being 
Sunday, his Body was sent by Coach towards Ports- 
mouth, and was there hanged in Chaines (Stow, ed. 
1631, p. 1044). 

A paper was found in Felton's hat, containing the 
following : 

" Let no man commend for doing it, but rather dis- 
commend themselves ; for if God had not taken away 
their hearts for their sins he had not gone so long 

" That man in my opinion is cowardly and base, and 
deserveth neither the name of a gentleman nor a soldier, 
that is unwilling to sacrifice his life for the honour of 
God and the good of his King and country. JOHN 
FELTON." ("Autobiography of Sir Simonds D'Ewes," 

i. 3850 

Only one or two priests were executed in England 
during the first fifteen years of Charles's reign. 

Between 1641 and 1651 the following priests were 
drawn, hanged, and quartered at Tyburn merely for being 
priests. No other charge was made against them, but 
this sufficed : 

1641. July 26. William Ward. 

1642. January 21. Thomas Reynolds and Bartholo- 

mew Roe. 


1642. April 26. Edward Morgan. 
October 12. Thomas Bullaker. 
December 12. Thomas Holland. 

1643. April 17. Henry Heath. 
December u. Arthur Bell. 

1644. September 7. John Duckett and Ralph Corby. 

1645. February i. Henry Morse. 

1646. June 30. Philip Powel. 

1651. May 19. Peter Wright. Thirteen malefactors 
hanged at the same time. 

These were victims of the Parliament. Charles had 
more than one contest with the Parliament on the subject 
of the execution of priests. In January, 1641, Thomas 
Goodman, a priest and Jesuit, had been condemned. 
The king reprieved him ; the two Houses remonstrated 
and urged that the law might be executed. Charles 
reminded Parliament of the inconvenience which might 
ensue to Protestant Englishmen and others abroad, but 
having said this he left the final decision to the Houses. 
Goodman petitioned the king : " He would esteem his 
blood well shed to cement the breach between your 
majesty and your subjects." He was suffered to die in 

Much the same happened later in the year. Seven 
priests were condemned on December 8th. The French 
ambassador exerted himself in their behalf. Charles 
consulted the two Houses as to a reprieve, to be followed 
by banishment. He did in fact reprieve them. The 
Houses petitioned for execution. Charles replied that 
he desired to banish the priests, " but if you think the 
execution of these persons so very necessary to the great 
and pious work of reformation, we refer it wholly to you, 
declaring hereby that upon such your resolution signified 
to the ministers of justice, our warrant for their reprieve 
is determined, and the law to have its course." J These 
also were suffered to linger out their lives in Newgate. 
1 Journals of the House of Lords, iv. pp. 662, 723. 


1654. To get a respite for a while from this massacre 
of priests, we may deal here with the last case that occurred 
for some years. 

John Southworth was sent on the English mission in 
1619. He escaped imprisonment till 1627, when he was 
tried at Lancaster, condemned, reprieved in 1630, and 
given over to the French ambassador for transportation 
beyond seas. If he was sent abroad, which seems un- 
certain, he was soon back, and after a long interval was 
again arrested, and once more released. He was finally 
apprehended in 1654. On his arraignment he pleaded 
that he was not guilty of treason, but in spite of per- 
suasion acknowledged that he was a priest. The court, 
with, it is said, great reluctance, passed the inevitable 
sentence. On June 28th five coiners were drawn, hanged, 
and quartered with Father Southworth. 

Father Southworth was an old man of 72 ; nothing 
was alleged against him but that he was a priest, that he 
was " a dangerous seducer." 

The guilt of this judicial murder rests wholly with 
Cromwell. The life of Southworth was in his hands ; 
he was deaf to the suit of the French and Spanish am- 
bassadors for Southworth's life (Challoner's Memoirs, 
pt. ii. pp. 196-200). 

No more Catholics were executed in England till the 
Popish Plot broke out in 1678. 

1649. With exquisite humour, none the less delight- 
ful because it was probably unconscious, the admirers of 
Cromwell have set up his statue near to the House of 
Commons, his back turned towards it. He might just 
have left the House with the key of the locked door in 
his pocket. Why is the statue there ? It cannot be 
simply in recognition of the fact that Cromwell cut off 
the head of a king. To cut off a king's head may be a 
meritorious deed, or it may be an infamous deed, or 
neither the one nor the other in any notable degree. 
But, taken by itself, it does not seem to demand an ex- 

A*^ f **. 
* f* 


pression of national gratitude. Yet what else could the 
statue have been intended to commemorate ? What, 
besides, did Cromwell do ? He set up in place of 
monarchy a Thing so detestable that in a few years the 
people were glad to have back a Stuart at any price : 
anything was better than the military despotism of 
Cromwell and his majors-general. Great soldier he 
was, great and pitiless. The proper place for Cromwell's 
statue was Drogheda. 

Our hearts have burnt within us as we have read the 
story of ship-money levied by Charles I. without the 
authority of Parliament. But Cromwell also levied taxes 
illegally. When his old friend Cony refused to pay, and 
reminded Cromwell how he had often declared that the 
man who paid an illegal tax was worse than he who 
demanded it, Cromwell threw his old friend into prison. 
When Cony was brought into court on his habeas corpus, 
Cromwell threw into prison the three counsel who argued 
the case. Cony, deprived of the aid of counsel, pleaded 
his own cause. It was too clear to suffer greatly from 
want of skill in the pleading : the judge could not decide 
adversely to Cony, but was unwilling to give judgment 
against Cromwell. He deferred his decision. Cromwell 
removed him from the bench. 

Enclosing went on as before ; the country was de- 
solated by civil war ; the people fell into poverty deeper 
and deeper. The wicked laws, " taking away the life of 
men only for theft," continued in force to the bitter dis- 
appointment of those who had looked for better things : 
" You have sate now," wrote Samuel Chidley, addressing 
his Highness the Lord Protector and the Parliament, 
"you have sate now above these 40 days twice told, 
and passed some Acts for transporting Corn and Cattel 
out of the Land, and against Charls Stuart's, &c., but (as 
I humbly conceive) have left undone matters of greater 
concernment; amongst which, the not curbing this 
over-much justice in hanging men for stealing is one ; 

the not suppressing the pressing of men to death for not 
answering against themselves is another." 

Samuel Chidley, who, for greater emphasis, printed his 
arguments in red ink, gave instructions that a copy of his 
book "should be nailed upon Tiburne Gallowes before 
the execution, with this motto written on the top : 

'Cursed be that bloody hand 
Which takes this downe without Command.' 

. . . but the party could not naile it upon Tiburne 
Gallow-tree, for the crowd of people, and therefore was 
forced to naile it on the tree which is upon the bank by 
the Gallowes ; and there it remained, and was read by 
many both before and after execution, and its thought 
will stand there still, till it drop away." 

A notable incident in the history of Tyburn ! 

Cromwell had enough to do to keep himself in his 
military saddle : he had no time to waste on an impatient 
idealist. 1 Samuel Chidley discovered, as others have since 
found, that the more things change the more they remain 
the same. Hanging for theft went on as briskly as ever. 
Indeed, by the irony of fate the Reign of the Saints 
furnishes us with an account of the greatest number re- 
corded as being executed at one time at Tyburn. In the 
Thomasson collection of Tracts in the-British Museum is 
one bearing the following title : 

"A true and perfect Relation of the Tryall, Condemn- 
ing, and executing of the 24. Prisoners, who suffered for 
severall Robberies and Burglaries at Tyburn on Fryday 
last, which was the 29. of this instant June, 1649, express- 

1 A vivid picture of the tyrant in 1654 is drawn in a few words by 
a foreign ambassador. The Protector, he says, was living in fear 
with redoubled precautions, grudging to be approached by any sort 
of person (Gardiner, " Hist, of Commonwealth," ii. p. 463, note). He 
had just issued a proclamation ordering a return to be made by all 
housekeepers of London, Westminster, and Southwark of persons 
lodging in their houses. This was followed by the arrest of more 
than 500 persons. 


ing the penitent end of the said Prisoners, the grief of the 
many Thousands there, and the Speech of John Mercer 
(who was there executed) concerning Unity in this King- 
dom, and the bringing home and setling of the King." 

The names of the criminals are given, twenty-three 
men and one woman. The prisoners were tied in eight 
carts, the sexton of St. Sepulchre's made his official 
speech to the culprits, "which being ended the carts 
were drave unto Tiburne the Fatall place of execution, 
where William Lowen the new Hangman fastned eight 
of them unto each Triangle." 

It would seem that there was nothing unusual, nothing 
to attract attention, in the number executed. In the 
bound volume there is, following the tract, " The Perfect 
Weekly Account . . . from Wednesday June 27, to 
Wednesday the 4 of July, 1649, Beginning Wednesday 
June 27." This little newspaper of eight pages does not 
so much as mention the execution. 

1650. October 2. Captain Ashley was sentenced by 
the High Court of Justice to have his head cut off, and 
one Benson to be hanged, for conspiring against the 
Commonwealth in the tresonable Engagement of Colonel 

October 7. Mr. Benson was executed at Tyburn ac- 
cording to the sentence of the High Court of Justice ; 
but in regard that Captain Ashley only subscribed the 
Engagement, but acted nothing in it, he was pardoned 
by the Parliament (Whitelocke). 

1653. " The ambassador of Portugal had a very 
splendid equipage, and in his company his brother 
don Pantaleon Sa, a Knight of Malta, and a man 
eminent in many great actions, who out of curiosity 
accompanied his brother in this embassy, that he might 
see England. This gentleman was of a haughty and 
imperious nature, 'and one day being in the New Ex- 
change, upon a sudden accident and mistake had a 
quarrel with . . . Mr. Gerard, . . . who had then re- 


turned some negligence and contempt to the rodomon- 
tades of the Portuguese, and had left him sensible of 
receiving some affront. Whereupon he repaired thither 
again the next day [November 22] , with many servants, 
better armed and provided for any encounter, imagining 
he should find his former adversary, who did not expect 
the visitation. But the Portuguese not distinguishing of 
persons, and finding many gentlemen walking there, and 
amongst the rest one he believed very like the other, he 
thought he was not to lose the occasion ; he entered into 
a new quarrel, in which a gentleman, utterly unacquainted 
with what had formerly passed, and walking there acci- 
dentally was killed, and others hurt ; upon which the 
people rising from all the neighbouring places, don 
Pantaleon thought fit to make his retreat to his brother's 
house ; which he did, and caused the gates to be locked, 
and put all the servants in arms to defend the house 
against the people which had pursued him, and flocked 
now together from all parts to apprehend those who had 
caused the disorder and had killed a gentleman. . . . 
Cromwell was quickly advertised of the insolence, and 
sent an officer with soldiers to demand and seize upon 
all who had been engaged in the action. And so the 
ambassador came to be informed of the truth of the 
story, with which he was exceedingly afflicted and 

The ambassador pleaded the privilege accorded to 
ambassadors, but the officer was resolute ; finally after 
an appeal to Cromwell, don Pantaleon and the rest were 
given up and sent to Newgate. 

" The ambassador used all the instances he could for 
his brother, being willing to leave the rest to the mercy 
of the law, but could receive no other answer but that 
justice must be done. And justice was done to the full, 
for they were all brought to their trial at the sessions at 
Newgate, and there so many of them condemned to be 
hanged as were found guilty. And the rest of those who 


were condemned were executed at Tyburn ; and don 
Pantaleon himself was brought to the scaffold on Tower 
Hill." ' 

Strangely enough Gerard, with whom the quarrel 
began, was executed (for high treason against the Pro- 
tector) on the same day and on the same scaffold. 

1658. On June 8, Slingsby and Hewet were executed 
on Tower Hill : Colonel Ashton, Mr. Stacy, and Mr. 
Bestely were drawn, hanged, and quartered in the streets 
of the City, and on July 6 several of " the new conspira- 
tors" were executed in London and at Tyburn. 

These were Cromwell's last executions. He died on 
September 3, 1658. 

1660. A terrible vengeance followed. Between 
October 13 and 17 eight of the Regicides were executed 
"at the Round or railed Place neer Charing Crosse." 
" And now the stench of their burnt bowels had so 
putrified the air, as the inhabitants thereabout petitioned 
His Majesty there might be no more executed in that 
place : therefore on Friday [October 19], Francis Hacker, 
without remorse, and Daniell Axtell, who dissolved him- 
self into tears and prayers for the King and his own soul, 
were executed at Tyburn, where Hacker was only hanged, 
and his brother Rowland Hacker had his body entire, 
which he begged, and Axtell was quartered." 2 

To finish with the story of the regicides : 

Colonel Okey, Colonel Barkstead, and Miles Corbet 
were basely betrayed by Downing, who had been chap- 
lain in Okey's regiment ; the States General, in violation 
of their fundamental maxim to receive and protect those 
who took refuge in their territory, basely surrendered 
them. They were executed at Tyburn on April 16, 

A miserable vengeance was wreaked on the dead on 
the " carcases " of Cromwell, Ireton, and Bradshaw. 

1 Clarendon's " Hist, of the Rebellion," ed. 1888, v. 295-7. 
3 " Hist. MSS. Comm.," Report v. pt. i. p. 174. 


1660. December 4. A resolution was passed in the 
House of Commons ; the Lords made an addition, and 
finally the Resolution stood thus : 

December 8. Resolved, by the Lords and Commons 
assembled in Parliament, That the carcases of Oliver 
Cromwell, Henry Ireton, John Bradshaw, Thomas Pride, 
whether buried in Westminster Abbey or elsewhere, be, 
with all expedition, taken up and drawn upon a hurdle to 
Tyburn, and there hanged up in their coffins for some 
time : and after that buried under the said gallows : and 
that James Norfolke Esquire, Serjeant at Arms attending 
the House of Commons, do take care, that this order be 
put in effectual execution by the common executioner 
for the County of Middlesex, and all such others to whom 
it shall respectively appertain : who are required in their 
several places to conform to and observe this order, with 
effect ; And the Sheriff of Middlesex is to give his assis- 
tance herein, as there shall be occasion : And the Dean of 
Westminster is desired to give directions to his officers of 
the Abbey to be assistant in the execution of this order. 1 

A new gallows had been erected for the purpose. Let 
Evelyn tell us of the use to which it was put on January 
30, 1 66 1 : 

1661. January 30. This day (O the stupendous and 
inscrutable judgments of God !) were the carcases of 
those arch-rebels, Cromwell, Bradshawe (the judge who 
condemned his Majesty) and Ireton (son-in-law to the 
Usurper) dragged out of their superb tombs in West- 
minster among the Kings, to Tyburn, and hanged on the 
gallows there from nine in the morning till six at night, 
and then buried under that fatal and ignominious monu- 
ment in a deep pit : thousands of people who had seen 
them in all their pride being spectators. 2 

Here is another account, showing the feelings of a 
partisan : 

1 "Journals of the House of Commons," viii. 202. 
3 John Evelyn, "Diary," ed. 1850, i. 345. 


"The odious carcasses of O. Cromwell, H. Ireton, and 
J. Bradshaw drawn upon sledges to Tyburn, and being 
pull'd out lof their Coffins, there hang'd at the severall 
Angles of that Triple-tree till Sun-set. Then taken down, 
beheaded, and their loathesome Truncks thrown into a 
deep hole under the Gallowes. Their heads were after- 
wards set upon Poles on the top of Westminster Hall." J 
Here Pepys saw them. 

Neal says that the bodies were drawn upon hurdles, 
but the two words were at this time used indifferently 
for the same thing. 

There were various legends on the subject. One was 
that Cromwell was not buried in Westminster Abbey, 
but on Naseby field. Another, that his friends contrived 
that the body of Charles I. was substituted for that of 
Cromwell, and was hanged on the gibbet. It was said 
that persons present observed a seam on the neck the 
head having been joined to the body after decollation. 2 

Many bodies, including those of Cromwell's mother 
and daughter, Admiral Blake and John Pym, were taken 
from the Abbey, and buried in a pit in St. Margaret's 

1660. On June 9 the House of Commons resumed 
debate on the Act of general Pardon, Indemnity, and 
Oblivion, and a list was produced of some who, though they 
did not sit at the trial of Charles I., on January 27, 1648, 
did sit on some of the preceding days. The subject was 
considered on subsequent occasions, and finally an Act 
was passed, 13 Charles II., c. 15 (1661), enacting that 
Lord Monson, Sir Henry Mildmay, and Robert Wallop 
(and others who had fled) should on January 27, 1662, 
be " carried to the Tower of London and from thence 
drawne upon Sledges with Ropes about theire necks, 
and according to the manner of persons executed for 

1 Sir George Wharton, "Gesta Britannorum," 1662. 

3 " Harleian Miscellany," ii. 285-7. 

3 Neal's " History of the Puritans," iv. 317-9. 


High Treason quite through the streets of London unto 
the Gallows att Tiburn," and then carried back in like 
manner to the Tower or such other prison as the king 
may think fit, and remain prisoners during their lives. 

Accordingly on January 27, 1662 : "This morning, 
going to take water, upon Tower-hill we met with 
three sleddes standing there to carry my Lord Monson 
and Sir H. Mildmay and another to the gallows and 
back again, with ropes about their necks : which is to be 
repeated every year, this being the day of their sentencing 
the king." * 

The Act, however, contains nothing as to the repeti- 
tion of the ceremony. 

1661. This year witnessed the outbreak of the Fifth 
Monarchy men. John James, a small-coal man, was 
executed at Tyburn. " The sheriff and hangman were so 
civil to him in his execution, as to suffer him to be dead 
before he was cut down, beheaded, bowelled, and 
quartered. His quarters were set on the gates of 
the City, his head was first fixed on London bridge, 
but afterwards upon a pole, near Bulstake Alley, White- 
chapel, in which was James's meeting-house." 2 

1662. December 22. Thomas Tonge, George Phillips, 
Francis Stubbs and Nathaniel Gibbs, convicted of taking 
part in a plot to seize the Tower and Whitehall, to kill 
the King and declare a Commonwealth. They were 
drawn to Tyburn on two hurdles, hanged, beheaded and 
quartered ; their heads were set up on poles on Tower 

1668. May 9. This day Thomas Limerick, Edward 
Cotton, Peter Messenger, and Richard Beasley, four 
of the persons formerly apprehended in the Tumult 
during the Easter Holydays, having upon their Trial 
at Hicks-Hall been found guilty and since sentenced 

1 Pepy's " Diary," ed. Wheatley, ii. 180-1. 

2 " State Trials," vi. 67-120. 

3 " State Trials," vi. ed., pp. 225-74. 



as Traytors, were accordingly Drawn, Hang'd, and 
Quartered at Tyburn, where they showed many signs 
of their penitence, their quarters permitted Burial, only 
two of their Heads ordered to be fixt upon London- 
Bridge. 1 

1670. In February of this year ended the brilliant 
career of Claude Duval, the famous highwayman. There 
had been highwaymen before Duval, as he was succeeded 
by others. But the great merit of Duval is that he gave 
a tone and dignity to the profession which it never 
wholly lost. Before giving any account of this prince of 
highwaymen it may be permitted to say something on 
this branch of the profession of the art of thieving. 

The century from 1650 to 1750 may be considered the 
era of the highwayman. When civil war rages bands 
of marauders will spring up, whose operations present 
a resemblance to the methods of a soldiery not kept well 
in hand. Thus during the Commonwealth James Hinde 
was the captain of a band of twenty or more whose 
operations were coloured by a pretence of acting for the 
king. On November n, 1651, Hinde was examined 
by the Council of State, and " confessed his serving 
of the king in England, Scotland and Ireland." High- 
wayman as he was, his pretensions as a servant of the 
king must have been admitted, as he was condemned at 
the Old Bailey, sent to Worcester, and drawn, hanged, 
and quartered, for high treason against the State. 
Accounts of his exploits were printed even a century 
after his death. The catalogue of the British Museum 
contains more than twenty entries relating to this 

The prevalence .of highway robbery is shown by the 
great number of Proclamations issued during the reigns 
of Charles II. and his immediate successors. Thus royal 
Proclamations offering rewards for the apprehension 
of highwaymen were issued on December 23 and 30, 
1 London Gazette, No. 259, May 7-11, 1668. 


1668. These were followed by others in 1677, 1679-80, 
1681, 1682-3. In this last eleven notorious robbers 
are specially named. In 1684 and 1684-5, * wo more 
Proclamations were issued, followed in 1687 by an 
Order in Council of the same tenor. In 1690 came a 
new Proclamation. These Proclamations were not 
wholly successful in breaking up gangs, for in December, 
1691, the Worcester waggon was plundered by sixteen 
highwaymen of 2,500 of the King's money. 

Still worse, in- 1692 seven highwaymen robbed the 
Manchester carrier of ^15,000 of royal treasure. A 
Proclamation sras now issued raising the reward for 
capture. In the earliest Proclamations this had been 
fixed at 10, afterwards raised to 20. The reward now 
offered was ^40. In the same year, 1692, was passed 
the Act 4 William and Mary, c. 8, taking effect after 
March 25, 1693. The reward of ^,40 was to be paid 
by the sheriff, or if he was not in funds, by the Treasury. 
Under date April 8, 1693, Luttrell writes, " Some moneys 
have been issued out of the Exchequer pursuant to 
the late Act for taking highwaymen." 

To return to Duval. He was born in Normandy, 
and came over to England as page to the Duke of 
Richmond. His best-known exploit is told at length 
in memoirs, ascribed to William Pope (reprinted in 
" Harleian Miscellany," iii. 308-16) : 

This is the place where I should set down several 
of his exploits ; but I omit them, both as being well 
known, and because I cannot find in them more 
ingenuity than was practised before by Hind and 
Hannum, and several other mere English thieves. 

Yet, to do him right, one story there is that savours of 
gallantry, and I should not be an honest historian if 
I should conceal it. He with his squadron overtakes 
a coach, which they had set over night, having intelli- 
gence of a booty of four-hundred pounds in it. In 
the coach was a knight, his lady, and only one serving. 


maid, who, perceiving five horsemen making up to them, 
presently imagined they were beset ; and they were con- 
firmed in this apprehension by seeing them whisper to 
one another, and ride backwards and forwards : the lady 
to show she was not afraid, takes a flageolet out of her 
pocket and plays. Du Vail takes the hint, plays also, and 
excellently well, upon a flageolet of his own ; and in this 
posture, he rides up to the coach-side. " Sir " (says he, to 
the person in the coach), " your lady plays excellently, and 
I doubt not but that she dances as well ; will you please 
to walk out of the coach, and let me have the honour to 
dance one currant with her upon the heath." " Sir " (said 
the person in the coach), " I dare not deny anything to one 
of your quality and good mind ; you seem a gentleman, 
and your request is very reasonable." Which said, 
the lacquey opens the boot ; out comes the knight, 
Du Vail leaps lightly off his horse, and hands the lady 
out of the coach. They danced, and here it was that 
Du Vail performed marvels ; the best master in London, 
except those that are French, not being able to show 
such footing as he did in his great riding French boots. 
The dancing being over, he waits on the lady to her 
coach ; as the knight was going in says Du Vail to him, 
" Sir, you have forgot to pay the musick." " No, I have 
not " (replies the knight ;) and, putting his hand under 
the seat of the coach, pulls out an hundred pounds in 
a bag, and delivers it to him ; which Du Vail took with a 
very good grace, and courteously answered, "Sir, you 
are liberal, and shall have no cause to repent your being 
so ; this liberality of yours shall excuse you the other 
three-hundred pounds": and giving him the word, that 
if he met with any more of the crew, he might pass 
undisturbed, he civilly takes his leave of him. 

Here is the account of the lying in state after the 
execution : 

After he had hanged a convenient time, he was cut 
down, and, by persons well dressed, carried into a 


mourning-coach, and so conveyed to the Tangier-tavern 
in St. Giles's, where he lay in state all that night, the 
room hung with black cloth, the hearse covered with 
escutcheons, eight wax-tapers burning, and as many 
tall gentlemen with long black cloakes attending ; mum 
was the word, great silence expected from all that 
visited, for fear of disturbing this sleeping lion. And 
this ceremony had lasted much longer, had not one 
of the judges (whose name I must not mention here, 
lest he should incur the displeasure of the ladies) sent to 
disturb this pageantry. 

The " Memoirs" are not to be taken too seriously. 
They are satirical, as is sufficiently shown by the title 
" Intended as a severe Reflexion on the too great 
Fondness of English Ladies towards French Foot- 
men : which, at that Time of Day was a too common 

According to the " Memoirs" Duval's tomb bore the 
family arms curiously engraved and under them this 
epitaph : 

Here lies Duval : reader, if male thou art, 
Look to thy purse : if female, to thy heart. 
Much havoc hath he made of both : for all 
Men he made stand, and women he made fall. 
The Second Conqueror of the Norman race, 
Knights to his arms did yield, and ladies to his face. 
Old Tyburn's glory, England's bravest thief : 
Duval, the ladies' joy: Duval, the ladies' grief. 

It must be admitted that the accounts of St. Paul's, 
Covent Garden, do not mention this monument. 

It is probable that Duval did really introduce gentler 
methods into the practice of robbery. The author of 
" Hudibras " in a " Pindaric Ode " claims this merit and 
one other for Duval : 

Taught the wild Arabs on the road 
To act in a more gentle mode : 


Take prizes more obligingly than those 

Who never had been bred filous 

And how to hang in a more graceful fashion 

Than e'er was known before to the dull English nation. 

The third chapter of Macaulay's History gives an 
excellent account of highwaymen in the reign of 
Charles II. 

1677. Thomas Sadler is said to have been in prison 
fifteen times before he planned his last and greatest 
exploit. With the aid of two accomplices, he stole 
from Great Queen Street, the Lord Chancellor's mace 
and purse (the official purse, one of the emblems of 
the office). Sadler was so delighted with his success, 
that in crossing Lincoln's Inn Fields he made one of 
the confederates precede him with the mace on his 
shoulder, while he himself strutted behind him, followed 
by the purse-bearer. They bore their plunder to a 
house in the City, where it was locked up in a cup- 
board. Curiosity led a maid to look through a chink 
in the door, when to her wonderment she saw what 
she took to be the King's crown. This led to the dis- 
covery of the robbery. On his trial Sadler behaved 
with superb frankness. " ' My lord/ he said, addressing 
the court, 'I own the fact, and it was I and this man' 
(pointing to one that stood by him at the bar) 'that 
robbed my Lord Chancellor : and the three others are 
clear of the fact, though I cannot say but they were 
confederates with us in the concealment of the prize 
after it was taken. This I declare' (said he) 'to the 
honourable bench, that I may be clear of the blood 
of these other three persons.' " . . . " However, the 
court went on in a legal way, and another witness 
began to demonstrate in what manner he was taken : 
to whom the prisoner answered in this manner : l Prithee, 
fellow, do not make such a long narration of my being 
taken ; thou seest I am here, and I own that I and 
this man, as aforesaid, are guilty of the fact.'" 


It seems that one of the confederates was reprieved. 
Sadler, and Johnson, one of his companions, were 
among the five men executed at Tyburn on March 
16, 1677 ("A Perfect Narrative," &c., 1676-7, reprinted 
in Harleian Mis., v. 505-6). 

1678. We now come to one of the blackest pages, 
not only in the history of England, but in the history 
of civilised communities. 

Eighteen years of misgovernment had brought the 
people to a point at which an outbreak of some kind 
became inevitable. Dunkirk had been ceded to the 
French : the sound of Dutch guns had been heard 
in the Thames. The Court was known to be under 
French influence. " There were two things," says 
Bishop Parker, " which, like Circe's cups, bewitched 
men and turned them into brutes, viz., popery and 
French interest, and, if either of these happened to be 
whispered in the House of Commons, they quitted 
their calm and moderate proceedings, and ran imme- 
diately into clamour and high debates." Politicians had 
for years played on the fears of the people. France 
was to send a great army to reduce the country to 
popery and slavery. "They kept the people in con- 
stant fear : and there was scarce greater uproar when 
Hannibal was at the gates of Rome." Charles had no 
successor in direct line ; on his decease the crown 
would fall to his brother, the Duke of York, known to 
be a catholic. This was the position " when the Popish 
Plot broke out, a transaction which had its roots in 
hell, and its branches in the clouds." 

Two men saw a private advantage in this state of 
things. It is impossible to say anything of the infamy 
of Titus Gates which would not fall short of the 
reality; his associate in the invention of the Popish 
Plot, Tonge, was a fanatic, who could forge on occasion. 

God Almighty," he said, "will do His own work by 
His own methods and ways." Between them the two 


produced a story of murder and massacre, which they 
contrived to lay before the King. It was so manifestly 
absurd that it would have failed of its effect but 
that Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, a magistrate, who 
had taken the depositions of these men, suddenly dis- 
appeared. His body was found a few days later at 
the foot of Primrose Hill, transfixed by Godfrey's own 
sword. There is little doubt that, but for family in- 
terests, the case would have been recognised as one of 
suicide. But the discovery came in the very nick of 
time to save the authors of the Popish Plot. It was 
set about that Godfrey had been murdered by the 
papists in Somerset House, the palace of the Catholic 
queen. The politicians, Lord Shaftesbury at their 
head, were not slow to see the advantage to be gained 
by playing upon the credulity of the people. 

The word went round that the plot must be handled 
as if it were true, whether it were so or not. It soon 
became dangerous to express doubt. To do this was 
to incur the certain danger of being reckoned a papist, 
a concealed papist, one inclined to popery ; and the 
prison or the gallows was the fate of the doubter. 
The courts sat merely to condemn men denounced 
by Gates and his gang. Three men were hanged at 
Tyburn as guilty of the murder of Godfrey. Even 
those who to-day contend that Godfrey was murdered 
admit that these men were innocent. Theories have 
been constructed based on the evidence of infamous 
informers who contradicted one another on every 
point, and when this fails, the writer's imagination is 
employed to patch up the story. 

On November 26, 1678, William Stayley was drawn 
to Tyburn and there hanged and quartered. He had 
been convicted, on the evidence of two infamous in- 
formers, of a design to assassinate Charles. But this 
case, a judicial murder, does not properly belong to 
the Popish Plot. 

On account of the plot were executed sixteen per- 
sons, three for the murder of Godfrey, thirteen for 
high treason. Except perhaps in the case of one, 
Coleman, it is now universally admitted that not one 
was guilty of the crime for which he suffered. Here 
is a list of the victims : 

1678. December 3. 

January 24. 
February 21. 

February 28, 
May 9. 
June 20. 

July 14. 

1680. December 29. 

1681. July i. 

Edward Coleman, secretary to the Duchess 
of York. 

William Ireland and John Grove. 

Robert Green and Lawrence Hill, for the 
murder of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey. 

Henry Berry, for the same. 

Thomas Pickering, for high treason. 

Thomas Whitebread, William Harcourt, John 
Fenwick, John Gavan, and Anthony 
Turner, known as " The Five Jesuits," 
all for high treason. 

Richard Langhorn, for high treason. 

Viscount Stafford, for high treason. 

Dr. Oliver Plunket, the catholic primate of 
Ireland, for high treason. 

Lord Stafford was executed on Tower Hill 
all the others at Tyburn. The sixteenth 
victim was Thomas Thwing, drawn, 
hanged, and quartered at York. In 
addition to these, eight priests were 
executed in 1679, under the penal laws, 
now revived, making it death for a priest 
to be in England. Many died in prison, 
thousands suffered imprisonment, banish- 
ment, loss of goods.* 

Together with Dr. Plunket was executed Edward 
Fitz-Harris, but this case, like that of Stayley, does 
not properly belong to the Popish Plot. 

The story would be incomplete without telling what 
befell the infamous creatures by whose means this 
innocent blood was shed. Shaftesbury, the politician 

1 Fuller particulars of the trials and executions are given in 
the author's "Who Killed Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey?" 1905. 


who took up the Plot and directed the operations of 
the perjurers, died in exile. Bedloe, one of the chief 
witnesses, died in his bed, asserting with his last breath 
the truth of his perjured evidence. 

On May 8 and 9, 1685, Gates was tried on two in- 
dictments for perjury. The evidence was full and com- 
plete. The sentence passed upon him was that he 
should pay a fine of a thousand marks on each indict- 
ment : that he should be stripped of his canonical habits : 
that he should be put in the pillory at Westminster and 
at the Royal Exchange : that he should be whipped 
from Aldgate to Newgate, and on the next day but 
one from Newgate to Tyburn. Further, that on April 
24, as long as he lived, he should stand in the 
pillory at Tyburn : every ninth of August in the 
pillory at Westminster : on every tenth of August in 
the pillory at Charing Cross : on every eleventh of August 
in the pillory near the Temple Gate, and on every 
second of September, in the pillory at the Royal 

Of the sentence and its execution more presently. 

Dangerfield was, next to Oates and Bedloe, the worst 
of the informers. He also was brought to trial. He 
was condemned to be put in the pillory and whipped. 
On July 4, 1685, he was being brought back from 
Tyburn, having been whipped on the road thither, 
when a Mr. Francis jeered at him, as he sat in the 
coach. Dangerfield replied by an insult, and Francis 
struck at him with a cane, the point of which entered 
Dangerfield's eye. Of the wound he died the next 
day. For this, Francis was tried, found guilty of murder, 
and executed at Tyburn, he being carried thither in 
a coach. 1 

Miles Prance, a third informer, was also brought to 

1 This is, I think, the first case recorded in which a criminal 
was allowed to make the journey to Tyburn in a coach. It be- 
came a common practice : " II y a des Gentlemen qui obtiennent 


trial. He had been dragged into the business of in- 
forming by Bedloe, and, in fear of his life, concocted a 
story of Godfrey's murder. He confessed his perjuries, 
and was, in consequence, let off with standing in the 
pillory, a fine and a whipping being remitted. 

To return to Gates. In sentencing him the judge 
remarked upon the inadequacy of the punishment 
allotted by the law to a perjurer whose false testimony 
had shed innocent blood. Indeed, if the punishment of 
death was ever due to any man, it was due to Gates. 
The whipping was so severe that none but Gates could 
have survived it. That he did survive was hailed by his 
partisans as a miracle. 

Luttrell records that in September, 1688, "Gates stood 
in the pillory over against the Royal Exchange, according 
to annual custom." This was his last appearance in the 
pillory prior to his re-establishment as Protestant cham- 
pion by the following resolution of the House of 
Commons : 

1689. June ii. Resolved that the Prosecution of 
Titus Gates, upon Two Indictments for Perjury in the 
Court of King's Bench, was a design to stifle the Popish 
Plot : And that the Verdicts given thereupon were cor- 
rupt : And that the Judgments given thereupon were 
cruel and illegal. 

A heated contest arose between Lords and Commons 
on the subject. The sentence was illegal, 1 and finally 
Gates received a pardon and was set at liberty. But it 
was not alone a passion for justice which animated those 
who insisted on the illegality of the sentence. Gates was 

la permission de faire ce voyage en carosse" (Henri Misson, 
" Memoires," &c., 1698, p. 24). 

1 Mr. Pike, however, in his " History of Crime in England," con- 
tends that " it is not by any means certain that there was any serious 
legal objection to the punishment inflicted on Gates, except, per- 
haps, so far as it related to his canonical habits." He thinks the 
sentence was justified by law and precedent (ii. 232-3). 


by many regarded as one who had rendered inestimable 
services to the cause of liberty and religion. 

Paul may plant, Apollos may water : the labour of 
each supposes that of the other. Shaftesbury, Burnet, 
Gates to which of the three are we to award the palm ? 
It is certain that but for Gates there would have been no 
Popish Plot ; it is arguable that but for the Popish Plot 
there would have been no Glorious Revolution. 

Oates's services were rewarded with a considerable 

To recur to the executions on account of the Popish 
Plot. Most unfairly Charles has been blamed for these 
executions. Never once, says Fox, did he exercise his 
glorious prerogative of mercy. At the outset Charles was 
warned from the bench that the two Houses would 
interpose if he attempted to exercise this prerogative. 
Had he done this, it would probably have led to a general 
massacre of Catholics. Grave crimes are with justice 
laid to the charge of both Charles I. and Charles II., but 
against these crimes must be set the fact that each did 
what in him lay to prevent the shedding of innocent 
Catholic blood. We have seen how Charles I. resisted 
the importunities of the Commons, thirsting for the 
blood of priests against whom was no charge but that of 
being priests. Charles II. strove in vain against the mad 
fury of the times. Here is a revolting account, recently 
published, showing the influences brought to bear on 
Charles when he scrupled to order the execution of men 
whom he believed to be innocent, as we now know they 
were : 

Mr. Speaker told him frankly how universal an expec- 
tation was fixed upon the execution of Ireland, Grove, 
and Pickering, who are condemned. But His Majesty 
did, on the other side, manifest wonderful reluctance 
thereunto that he had no manner of satisfaction in the 
truth of the evidence, but rather of its falsehood. . . . 
Most of the Board did labour with His Majesty to show 


... the ill-grounded scruple His Majesty had taken, and 
that the evidence and trial were much fairer than His 
Majesty had been told, and that he could not be answer- 
able for any wrong done or innocent blood shed, but it 
lay upon the witnesses and jury, if such a thing could be 
thought of in this case. None laboured herein more 
vigorously than the Lord Treasurer, Lord Chancellor, 
and the Lord Lauderdale, who, it seems, had in private 
done their uttermost before. At last it was ordered that 
when the Judges come on Friday, so many of them as 
sat upon that trial are to inform His Majesty how the 
proofs appeared. And the Bishops that are of the Board 
are then to be present, and to assist His Majesty as to the 
point of conscience in this matter. 1 

Ireland and Grove were executed on January 24, 1679. 
Pickering was respited. On April 2yth the Commons 
voted an address praying for his execution. Finally 
in this case also Charles had to yield. Lord Russell 
was the bearer of Charles's answer that he would 
comply with the prayer. Pickering was executed on 
May gth. 

1680. March 8. Was executed at Tyburn twelve 
men and three women for several crimes (Luttrell, 
i. 38). 

1683. In this year we have the executions for the 
Rye House Plot, the object of which was to capture 
Charles II. on his return from Newmarket. 

July 20. Capt. Thomas Walcott, John Rouse, and 
William Hone, were drawn, about 9 in the morning, 
upon sledges, the two last in one, and the ist by himself, 
to Tyburn, and there hanged and quartered, according 
to the sentence past on them on the i4th at the Old 
Baily, for the late conspiracy. 

July 21. The quarters of Walcot, Hone, and Rouse 
are buried, but their heads are sett on these places 

1 Hist. MSS. Comm., Manuscripts of the Marquess of Ormonde. 
New series, vol. iv., 1907. 


following : Hone on Aldersgate, Walcot on Algate, and 
Rouse on Guildhall (Luttrell, i. 270-1). 

William lord Russell was executed in Lincoln's Inn 
Fields on July 21, 1683. 

1684. Sir Thomas Armstrong was concerned in the 
Rye House Plot, but had fled to Holland and was out- 
lawed. He was taken at Leyden by order of the States, 
brought to England, and committed to Newgate. 
Brought to the king's bench bar, he was refused trial, 
and sentence of death was passed upon him as an 
outlaw : 

The 2oth June, Sir Thomas Armstrong was drawn 
upon a sledge, with a very numerous guard to Tyburn ; 
where being come, Dr. Tenison prayed with him, who 
seemed very penitent : he prayed himself also very fer- 
vently ; which done, he delivered a paper to the sheriffs, 
and submitted himself to the sentence : after he had 
hang'd about half an hour he was taken down, and 
quartered according to his sentence, and his quarters 
were brought back in the sledge to Newgate. . . . Sir 
Thomas Armstrong's quarters are disposed off : a fore- 
quarter is sett on Temple bar, his head on Westminster, 
another quarter is sent down to the town of Stafford, for 
which he was a Parliament man (Luttrell, i. 311-2). 

The head was taken down after the Revolution. 

We now enter on the short and troubled reign of 
James II. 

1685. James Burton was outlawed for having taken 
part in the Rye House Plot (1683). Elizabeth Gaunt, a 
poor woman, gave him shelter and finally got him a 
passage to Holland. Burton returned, took part in 
Monmouth's rebellion in 1685, and after Monmouth's 
defeat again sought refuge in London. At the entreaty 
of his wife, Fernley, a barber, a neighbour of Mrs. Gaunt, 
gave him shelter. To save his own neck Burton gave 
information against his benefactors for protecting him. 


He was not ashamed to appear in court against them, 
and the Crown lawyers were not ashamed to produce his 
evidence. Fernley was hanged at Tyburn, Elizabeth 
Gaunt was burnt in the same place on October 23, 1685. 
In prison she wrote her Last Speech. She says, " I did 
but relieve an unworthy, poor, distressed family, & lo I 
must dye for it ; well, I desire in the Lamb-like nature of 
the Gospell to forgive all that are concerned, & to say, 
Lord, lay it not to their charge ; but I fear it will not ; 
nay I believe, when he comes to make inquisition for 
blood, it will be found at the door of the furious Judge : 
. . . my blood will also be found at the door of the 
unrighteous Jury, who found me guilty upon the single 
oath of an out-lawd man." 

" Pen, the quaker," says Burnet, " told me, he saw her 
die. She laid the straw about her for burning her 
speedily ; and behaved herself in such a manner, that all 
the spectators melted in tears " (Burnet, " Hist, of his 
Own Time," i. 649). 

" Since that terrible day," writes Macaulay, " no woman 
has suffered death in England for any political offence." 
This is true only if we except the cases in which women 
were burnt as guilty of treason for coining. It was by 
a narrow chance that Mrs. Gaunt was the last. On 
January 19, 1693, Mrs. Merryweather was sentenced to 
be burnt for printing treasonable pamphlets, but, after 
being more than once reprieved, was pardoned on 
February 23rd (Luttrell). 

1686. May 20-2. Sessions at Old Bailey, when 16 
received sentence of death. 

The 28th, five men of those lately condemned at the 
Sessions were executed at Tyburn ; one of them was 
Pascha Rose, the new hangman, so that now Ketch is 
restored to his place (Luttrell, i. 378). 

1686. On the night of April 12 two of his Majesty's 
mails from Holland were robbed, near Ilford, of ^5,000 
in gold, belonging to some Jews in London. Richard 


Alborough, Oliver Hawley, and John Condom were 
indicted for the robbery. Alborough pleading guilty was 
sentenced to death, & the same sentence was passed on 
the others after trial. 

July the 2d, Oliver Hawley and John Condom were 
executed at Tyburn (Luttrell, i. 374-82.) 

Here is a strange incident : 

At the Sessions at the Old Daily held on October 
13-16 fourteen persons received sentence of death. 

Edward Skelton, one of the criminalls that received 
sentence of death this last sessions at the Old Baily, has 
been beg'd of the King by 18 maids clothed in white, and 
since is married to one of them in the Presse yard 
(Luttrell, i. 387.) 

1686, Samuel Johnson, rector of Corringham, is 
described as a "political divine." In 1682 he published 
a famous piece, " Julian the Apostate," Julian being for 
the nonce the Duke of York. Johnson represented that 
popery was a modern form of paganism ; he argued 
against unconditional obedience to the Crown. After 
the Rye House Plot proceedings were taken against him, 
and he was fined and imprisoned. On his release he 
wrote and distributed other tracts, one, published after the 
Duke of York came to the throne, was "An Humble and 
Hearty Address to all the English Protestants in this pre- 
sent Army." In this he appealed to the soldiers not to be 
"unequally yoked with idolatrous and bloody Papists" : 
On November 16, 1686, Samuel Johnson, clerk, convicted 
upon an information of writing and publishing two libells, 
was this day brought to the court of Kings bench, where 
he offered something in arrest of judgment, but the 
Court overruled it, and the chief justice told him he 
blasphemously wrested scripture ; so the court pro- 
nounced judgment on him, to stand thrice in the pillory, 
pay a fine of 500 marks, and to be whipt from Newgate 
to Tyburn. . . . 

The 2oth, Samuel Johnson, clerk, was brought before 


the commissioners for the diocese of London, and other 
the clergy in the chapter house of St. Pauls, and there 
degraded and devested accordingly, and delivered over as 
a secular person (Luttrell, i. 388). 

The execution of the sentence on Mr. Johnson is thus 
described : And immediately they proceeded to execute 
the said Sentence, and to degrade him by putting on his 
Head a square Cap, and then taking off again ; then they 
pulled off his Gown, then his Girdle, which he demanded 
as his proper Goods, bought with his Money, which they 
promised to send ; but they cost him Twenty Shillings 
to have them again. After all, they put a Bible into his 
Hand; which he would not part with, but they took it 
from him by Force. . . . On the Monday after, viz. Two- 
and-twentieth of November, the judgment in the King's 
Bench were executed with great Rigour and Cruelty, the 
Whipping [from Newgate to Tyburn] being with a Whip 
of Nine Cords, Knotted, shewed to the Committee ; and 
that Mr. Rouse the Under Sheriff tore off his Cassock 
upon the pillory and put a Prize Coat upon him (" Jour- 
nals of the House of Commons," June 24, 1689, x. 194). 

In 1689, after the accession of William III., Parliament 
annulled the judgment. 

1690. The same day [September 12] 6 persons were 
executed at Tyburn ; some of them behaved themselves 
very impudently, calling for sack, and drank king James's 
health, and affronted the ordinary at the gallows, and re- 
fused his assistance ; and bid the people return to their 
obedience and send for king James back (Luttrell, ii. 

1690. In this year occurred a famous case of stealing 
an heiress. This was made a felony by 3 Henry VII. 
(1487), c. 3 : 

Where Wymmen aswell Maydens as Wydowes and 
Wyfes havyng substaunce somme in goods moveable, 
and somme in landes and tenements, and summe beyng 
heires apparaunte unto their auncesters, for the lucre of 



suche substaunce been oft tymes taken by mysdoers 
contrarie to their Will, and after maried to such mysdoers 
or to other by their assent, or defoulled, to the great 
displesire of God and contrarie to the Kyngs lawes and 
dispargement of the seid Women and utter hevynesse 
and discomforte of their frendes and to the evyll example 
of all other. . . . 

The Act goes on to make the offence a felony. 

We will let Luttrell tell the story of the abduction 
and its result, day by day : 

November 7. One Mrs. Mary Wharton, a young 
heiresse of about ^1500 per ann., and about 13 years of 
age, comeing home with her aunt, Mrs. Byerley, in their 
coach about 9 at night, and alighting out of it at her 
own aunt, was violently seized on and putt into a coach 
and 6 horses and carried away. 

November 15. Mrs. Wharton, who was lately stole, is 
returned home to her friends, having been married 
against her consent to Captain Campbell [brother to 
Lord Argyle] .... A proclamation hath been published 
by their majesties for the discovering and apprehending 
captain James Campbell, Archibald Montgomery, and 
sir John Jonston, for stealing away Mrs. Wharton. [The 
proclamation included " divers others."] 

November 25. Sir John Jonston, concerned in the 
stealing of Mrs. Wharton, is taken and committed to 

December 10. The sessions began at the Old Daily, 
and held the nth, I2th, I3th, and iyth dayes of this 
month, where 22 persons received sentence of death (and 
among them sir John Jonston, for stealing Mrs. Wharton), 
9 were burnt in the hand, I ordered to be transported, 
and 6 sentenced to be whipt. 

December 18. Intercession has been made to his 
majestie on the behalf of sir John Jonston, lately con- 
demned, for his pardon ; which he hath denied unlesse 
it be desired by the friends of Mrs Wharton. 


December 23. Sir John Jonston, condemned for 
stealing Mrs. Wharton, went up in a mourning coach to 
Tyburn, and was executed for the same ; and his body 
was delivered to his friends, in order to it's being 
buried (Luttrell, ii. 128-48). 

Here is a further notice of Mistress Wharton. Let us 
hope she was happily married : 

1692. March 19. On Thursday last colonell Byerley 
was married to Mrs. Wharton, stole formerly by 
Campdell (Luttrell, ii. 394). 

1690. December 22. Thirteen persons were executed 
at Tyburn for several crimes ; also a woman at Newgate 
for setting the prison on fire ; and also a notorious high- 
way man, commonly called the Golden Farmer [this was 
William Davis, known by this title], was executed in 
Fleetstreet, at the end of Salisbury court, and is after to 
be hang'd in chains upon Bagshott heath (Luttrell, ii. 148). 

1692. September 22. Information is given of near 
300 coyners and clippers dispersed in divers parts of this 
citty, on which warrants are out against severall ; one 
from the lords of the treasury, another by the cheife 
justice, and a 3d by the masters of the mint (ii. 571). 

1692. Towards the end of the year Luttrell has 
several entries in his diary relating to a celebrated high- 
wayman, " captain " James Whitney : 

December. Witney, the notorious highway man, offers 
to bring in 80 stout men of his gang to the kings service, 
if he may have his pardon (ii. 630). 

December 6. This morning his majestic sent a party of 
horse to look after Whitney, the great highwayman, on 
some notice he was lurking between Barnet and St. 
Albans : they mett with him at the first of the said 
towns, who finding himselfe attackt, made his defence 
and killed one of them, and wounded some others : but 
at last was taken and brought to London. His majestic 
was very glad he was taken, being a great ringleader of 
that crew (ii. 633). 


This must have been a mistake, as shown by the 
following entries : 

December 20. The lords C. and B. were on Satturday 
last to meet Whitney, a great highwayman, on honour ; 
he offers to bring in 30 horse, with as many stout men, 
to serve the king, provided he may have his pardon, and 
will give a summe of money besides : but the issue 
thereof not known (ii. 644). 

1693. Teusday, ^d January. On Satturday last 
Whitney, the famous highwayman, was taken without 
Bishopsgate ; he was discovered by one Hill as he walkt 
the street, who observed where he housed, then, calling 
some assistance, he went to the door ; but Whitney 
defended himselfe for an hour, but the people encreasing, 
and the officers of Newgate being sent for, he surrendered 
himselfe, but had before stabb'd the said Hill with a 
bagonet, but not mortall : he was cuff'd and shackled 
with irons and committed to Newgate ; and on Sunday 
2 more of his gang were also seized and committed ; one 
kept a livery stable in Moor feilds (iii. i). 

January 7. Strongly reported yesterday that Whitney 
had made his escape out of Newgate, but he continues 
closely confined there, and has 40 pound weight of iron 
on his leggs ; he had his taylor make him a rich 
embroidered suit, with perug and hatt, worth ^100 ; but 
the keeper refused to let him wear them, because they 
would disguise him from being known (iii. 5). 

On the 8th five of Whitney's gang apprehended but 
2 of them escaped. 

1693. At the Old Baily sessions "8 highwaymen 
received sentence of death, Whitney, Grasse, Fether- 
stone, Nedland, Poor, Holland and 2 more " (iii. 16). 

January 28. Yesterday 9 persons were carried to 
Tyburn, where 8 were executed, 7 hyghwaymen, and 
one for clipping ; Whitney was brought back, having 
a repreive for 10 dayes, and was brought back to New- 
gate with a rope about his neck, a vast crowd of people 
following him. 


Last night Whitney was carried in a sedan to White- 
hall and examined ; 'tis said he discovers who hired the 
persons to rob the mailes so often. 

Whitney, 'tis said, has been examined upon a design to 
kill the King. . . . 

Whitney, 'tis said, will be executed next week ; others 
say his repreive is grounded on the discovery of his 
accomplices, with their houses of reception, and way of 
living (iii. 24). 

1693. February 2. Yesterday being the ist instant, 
capt. James Whitney, highwayman, was executed at 
Porter's block, near Cow crosse in Smithfeild; he seemed 
to dye very penitent ; was an hour and halfe in the cart 
before turn'd off (iii. 27). 

Luttrell mentions that in January there were near 
20 highwaymen in Newgate (iii. 10). 

1693. April 27. A person was this day convicted at 
sessions house for sacriledge, rape, burglary, murder, and 
robbing on the highway ; all committed in 12 hours time 
(Luttrell, iii. 85). 

October 24. Yesterday, 14 malefactors were executed 
at Tyburn ; 6 of them clippers (Luttrell, iii. 212). 

1694. July 19. Yesterday n men and 3 women 
were executed at Tyburn ; amongst them was Wilkinson 
the goldsmith, with several others for clipping ; one 
Paynes, convicted for murder, who by the confession of 
one of his accomplices has killed 5 or 6 persons in a 
short time ; he kickt the ordinary out of the cart 
at Tyburn, and pulled off his shoes, sayeing, hee'd 
contradict the old proverb, and not dye in them 
(Luttrell, iii. 345). 

1694. On Wensday the i2th instant 1 8 persons were 
executed at Tyburn ; 7 men, and i woman burnt for 
clipping and coyning [this does not mean that the men 
were burnt, but the woman only] , 8 highway men, and 
2 for burglary (Luttrell, iii. 413). 

1695. January 10. Several persons have malitiously 


spread abroad that Tyburn was hung in mourning, but 
upon examination it proves a mistake (Luttrell, iii. 424). 

The Queen had died on December 28. 

1695. At the Old Bailey Sessions : 

July 6. Mr. Moor, the rich tripeman of Westminster, 
was found guilty of clipping and coyning ; and some 
others will be tried for the like offence (Luttrell, iii. 495). 

July 13. Yesterday four men were executed at 
Tyburn, three of them for clipping, one of which was 
John Moore, the tripeman, said to have gott a good 
estate by clipping, and to have offered 6000 1. for his 
pardon (Luttrell, iii. 497). 

July 16. Moor the tripeman being hang'd for clipping, 
the duke of Somerset has seized upon his house, worth 
1000 1., being within his mannor of Isleworth. 

This day a rich chandler of Lambeth and a house- 
keeper in Long Acre were seized for clipping (Luttrell, 
iii. 499). 

1695. About this time Luttrell tells of the arrests of 
" nests " of coiners, among them an attorney in the 
Temple, and a merchant in Birchin Lane ; at one time 
105 coiners and clippers lay in Newgate awaiting trial. 
The condition of the coinage became a great question of 
State so pressing that after six Proclamations on the 
subject an Act 7 and 8 William III c. i (1695-6) was 
passed " An Act for remedying the 111 State of the Coin 
of the Kingdome." The Act recites that "the Silver 
Coins of this Realm (as to a great part thereof) doe 
appeare to bee exceedingly diminished by such persons 
who (notwithstanding several good laws formerly pro- 
vided and many examples of justice thereupon) have 
practised the wicked and pernicious crime of Clipping 
until att length the course of the Moneys within this 
Kingdom is become difficult and very much perplext, to 
the unspeakable wrong and prejudice of His Majestic 
and His good Subjects in their Affairs as well Publick as 
particular and noe sufficient Remedy can bee applied 


to the manifold Evils ariseing from the clipping of the 
Moneys without recoining the clipt pieces." 

Then follow very lengthy provisions for dealing with 
coins of " Sterling Silver or Silver of a courser Allay then 
the Standard " from which we may infer that the Govern- 
ment had played its part in the debasing of the coinage. 

This was followed, in the same year, by an Act, c. 19 
"to incourage the bringing Plate into the Mint to be 
coined and for the further remedying the ill State of the 
Coine of the Kingdome." The next year saw another 
Act 8 and 9 William III. c. 2, for the further remedying 
the ill State of the Coin of the Kingdome," an Act, c. 8, 
for " Incouraging the bringing in wrought Plate to be 
coined " ; c. 26, " for the better preventing the counter- 
feiting the current Coine of the Kingdome." Other Acts 
of the same kind were 9 William III. c. 2 ; c. 21 ; these 
are in addition to numerous Proclamations. Nothing 
can better show the state of the coinage than the record 
of petitions of seamen and shipwrights in the King's 
yards who had been paid in clipped and counterfeit half- 

In February, 1696, came to a head "the Assassination 
Plot," the most dangerous of all the Plots formed against 
William III. The King was, according to custom, to go 
to hunt in Richmond Park on February 15. Advantage 
was to be taken of this to assassinate him. For some 
reason he did not go, and the execution of the scheme 
was deferred. But meanwhile one of the conspirators 
gave information to the Government. Numerous arrests 
were made, followed by trials and executions. On 
March 18 Robert Charnock, Edward King, and Thomas 
Keys were executed at Tyburn. They were followed on 
April 3 by Sir John Friend and Sir William Perkins. 
The populace of London flocked to Tyburn in numbers 
exceeding all precedent to witness the execution of 
Friend, found guilty by the Court of high treason, and 
by the people of a crime that touched them more nearly 


the brewing of execrable beer. Three non-juring divines 
attended the condemned men to the scaffold, Jeremy 
Collier, and two of less note, Shadrach Cook and William 
Snatt, who absolved the criminals " in a manner more 
than ordinarily practised in the Church of England." 
For this Cook and Snatt were committed to Newgate. 
Macaulay says that they were not brought to trial. It 
appears, however, that they were actually indicted, and 
found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanours (Luttrell, 
iv. 80) and imprisoned for a short time. Collier kept out 
of the way, and was in consequence outlawed, remaining 
under the sentence to the end of his days. Numerous 
tracts were written on the subject. 

On April 29 Brigadier Rookwood, Charles Cran- 
burne, and Major Lowick were executed at Tyburn, they 
also having been condemned for the Plot. 

This completes the story of the executions at Tyburn 
for the Assassination Plot, but it is impossible to refrain 
from mentioning a case dismissed by Macaulay in a 
sentence referring to "Major John Bernardi, an adventurer 
of Genoese extraction, whose name has derived a melan- 
choly celebrity from a punishment so strangely prolonged 
that it at length shocked a generation which could not 
remember his crime." It is hardly fair to call Bernardi 
an adventurer. Apart from this, the reader would 
certainly not gather from Macaulay's remark that no 
crime was ever proved against Bernardi. In writing of 
a shocked generation the historian probably referred 
to some very mild remarks of Dr. Johnson, in his 
" Life of Pope." Pope wrote an epitaph on Secretary 
Trumball, who, from his official position, took a leading 
part in persuading Parliament to consent to the im- 
prisonment of Bernardi. The concluding lines of Pope's 
epitaph are : 

Such this man was, who, now from earth remov'd 
At length enjoys the liberty he lov'4. 


On this Johnson wrote : " The thought in the last line is 
impertinent, having no connection with the foregoing 
character, nor with the condition of the man described. 
Had the epitaph been written on the poor conspirator 
who lately died in prison, after a confinement of more 
than forty years, without any crime proved against him, 
the sentiment had been just and pathetical ; but why 
should Trumball be congratulated upon his liberty, who 
had never known restraint ? " 

Major Bernardi was arrested on suspicion of being 
concerned in the Assassination Plot ; he was in the 
company of Rookwood when the latter, afterwards 
condemned and executed, was arrested. Against Bernardi 
there was but one witness, an informer. Even taking 
this informer's testimony without abatement the case 
against Bernardi did not reach higher than suspicion. 
But the resources of civilisation were equal to the oc- 
casion. A clause in an Act, 8 & 9 William III. (1696-7) 
c - 5 gave power to keep in Newgate Bernardi and five 
others named, till January i, 1697-8. An Act, 9 William 
III. (1697-8) c. 4. gave power to prolong the imprison- 
ment for a second year. A third Act, 10 William III. 
(1698) c. 19, enacted that the same six persons should be 
kept in custody during his Majesty's pleasure. 

The rest of the story would be incredible if it were not 
supported by Acts of Parliament. The Act last men- 
tioned necessarily expired on William's death, but on the 
accession of Anne another Act was passed, i Anne (1701) 
st. i, c. 29. for continuing the imprisonment of these men 
during the Queen's pleasure. Anne, however, released 
one. This Act lapsed on the Queen's death. On the 
accession of George I. a similar Act was passed, 
i George I. (1714) st. 2, c. 7. During this reign two of 
the prisoners died in Newgate. Once more the death of 
the sovereign put the prisoners in a position to move to 
be brought to trial or admitted to bail. But an Act of 
the same tenor as the preceding Acts was passed, 


i Geo. II. (1727) st. i, c. 4, once more continuing the 
imprisonment during the sovereign's pleasure. In vain 
was the king petitioned ; in vain did Bernardi's doctors 
depose to his lamentable state, " his miserable lameness, 
and swelling in his arms, by humours flowing to an old 
wound " ; in vain did his wife pray for her husband's 
liberation. Finally, in 1736, after an imprisonment of 
40 years, Bernardi, then in his eighty-second year, was 
set free, not by the clemency of the King, but as he had 
himself foreseen, " by the great and merciful God himself 
above, the King of Kings and only Ruler of Princes." x 
Thus ended the imprisonment of this sick and aged man, 
the longest imprisonment recorded in the law-books, an 
imprisonment awarded and continued through several 
reigns on mere suspicion of one never brought to trial. 
The case is instructive, as showing how with strict 
observance of constitutional forms, it is possible to 
emulate the dark deeds of uncontrolled despotism. 

Magna Carta, the magnificent conception of a great 
English ecclesiastic of the thirteenth century, would 
perhaps be found even to-day, if a time of stress came 
upon us, to be still a counsel of perfection. If that is so, 
the blame must rest upon William III. and his advisers. 
Strange that men to whom power was given in order that 
they might protect us from arbitrary government should 
have exceeded those they displaced in the exercise of 
arbitrary power ! Cromwell derided Magna Carta in 
terms not to be reproduced here. 2 The accession of 
William was almost immediately followed by the suspen- 
sion of habeas corpus, resting upon the great Charter. 

Macaulay tells us that Charles II. "would gladly have 
refused his assent to that measure," the habeas corpus 
Act. We will not dispute it ; but Charles did not ask for 
the suspension of habeas corpus when the Rye House 

1 " A Short History of the Life of Major John Bernardi," written 
by himself in Newgate, 1729. 

2 Clarendon's " History of the Rebellion," ed. Oxford, 1849, vi. 105. 


Plot broke out. Macaulay tells us that James II. hated 
the Act. This, again, we will not dispute. But he did 
not ask for its suspension when Monmouth invaded 
England. William did not wait for the Assassination 
Plot to ask Parliament to suspend the Act. Before he 
had been on the throne a month he established an evil 
precedent which has ever since been followed ; no 
minister has since ever hesitated to ask Parliament to 
suspend habeas corpus, and no Parliament has ever 
refused the request when made. Suspended four times 
in the reign of William and Mary and William, once in 
the reign of Anne, thrice in the reign of George I., four 
times in the reign of George II., and twenty times in the 
reign of George III. (Ireland is left out of account), 
habeas corpus was reduced to the point at which it 
afforded exactly the amount of protection that a man 
would receive from a waterproof coat, worn in sunshine, 
and carefully left at home when rain falls. 1 

1696. December 31. Yesterday 14 men were executed 
at Tyburn, 10 of them for clipping and coining, the 
other 4 for robbery (Luttrell, iv. 162). 

1697. July 20. The i6th past, 14 malefactors were 
executed at Tyburn ; 3 men and i woman for coining, 
2 men for counterfeiting stamp't paper, a woman for 
murthering her bastard child ; and 7 more for robbery 
and burglary ; and the French woman, who murdered 
Mrs. Pullein, was hanged at the end of Suffolk Street, 
where the fact was committed (Luttrell, iv. 254). 

1 On few subjects has there been so profuse an expenditure of 
insincere writing as on this. Thus Hallam writes : " That writ [of 
habeas corpus] rendered more actively remedial by the Statute of 
Charles II., but founded upon the broad basis of Magna Carta, is the 
principal bulwark of English liberty ; and if ever temporary circum- 
stances, or the doubtful plea of political necessity, shall lead men to 
look on its denial with apathy, the most distinguishing characteristic 
of our constitution will be effaced" (" Hist, of Mid. Ages, ch. viii., 
pt. ii.). Hallam was, of course, perfectly well acquainted with the 
facts of repeated suspension. 


1697. November 4. Yesterday 6 persons were executed 
at Tyburn ; two for coining, one for robbing on the high 
way, and 3 for counterfeiting stampt paper, of which 
Mr. Salisbury the minister was one ; he had the favour to 
goe to Tyburn in a mourning coach, and his body was 
brought back in a herse. 

Salisbury was a non-juring parson of Sussex ; the 
evidence against him showed that he did not commit the 
forgery for want, " as having a good estate and a good 
living, but only to prejudice king William's Govern- 
ment " (Luttrell, iv. 292, 302). 

A few days later Luttrell records the committal of 
another parson for the same offence. 

1698. December 22. Yesterday fourteen men and one 
woman were executed at Tyburn ; two of the men were 
drawn in a sledge, and were for coining ; one man was 
carried in a coach, for robbing on the high way and the 
rest in carts, for burglary and robbery on the high way ; 
and one for murther (L., iv. 464). 

Including these, Luttrell records the execution at 
Tyburn this year of 62 persons. 

1699. Luttrell records the execution this year at 
Tyburn of 51 persons. 

In this year was passed the Act so often and so 
strongly denounced by Romilly in later years (10 William 
III., c. 12 in the folio edition of the Statutes), which 
came into operation after May 20. It was directed against 
burglary and horse stealing as well as against " the crime 
of stealing goods privately out of shops and warehouses, 
commonly called Shoplifting." The notoriety of the 
Act was earned by its inflicting the penalty of death for 
shoplifting to the value of five shillings. This Act also 
established the " Tyburn ticket," * as it came to be called, 
a certificate awarded for the apprehension and prosecu- 
tion of offenders. This gave exemption from parish and 

1 It is said that in 1818 a "Tyburn ticket" (was sold (as a 
Curiosity) for 280, 


ward offices. It further enacted that all persons convicted 
of theft, who had benefit of clergy should, instead of 
being burnt in the hand, be "burnt in the most visible 
part of the left cheek nearest the nose," the burning to be 
done in court in presence of the judge. Luttrell records 
in connection with the May sessions that "two were 
burnt in the left cheek, according to the new act of 
parliament"; at the next sessions eighteen were so 
branded. But the innovation did not prove successful. 
Luttrell says that retaliation was threatened "the said 
offenders for the future threaten whatever house they 
break into, &c., they will mark the persons on the cheek 
to prevent distinction." The provision was repealed by 
5 and 6 Anne (1706), c. 6, and burning in the hand was 
again established. The repealing Act states in the 
preamble that " the said punishment [of burning on the 
cheek] hath not had its desired effect, by deterring such 
offenders from the further committing such crimes and 
offences, but on the contrary, such offenders being 
rendered thereby unfit to be intrusted in any service or 
employment to get their livelihood in any honest and 
lawful way, become the more desperate." But the penalty 
of death for stealing to the value of five shillings remained. 

1700. March 16. Three prisoners were this week 
taken in the very act of coining in Newgate. 

April 20. Yesterday, one Larkin, alias Young, with 
another, were executed at Tyburn ; the former for coyn- 
ing in Newgate (Luttrell, iv. 624, 636). 

1705. December 12. "One John Smith, condemned 
lately at the Old Baily for burglary, was carried to Tyburn 
to be executed, and was accordingly hanged up, and 
after he had hung about 7 minutes, a reprieve came, 
so he was cutt down, and immediately lett blood and 
put into a warm bed, which, with other applications, 
brought him to himself again with much adoe (Luttrell, 
v. 623). 

The story is told at greater length by James Mount- 


ague in "The Old Bailey Chronicle," 1700-83, i. 

5i-3 : 

"After hanging five minutes and a quarter, a reprieve 
was brought. . . . The malefactor was cut down and 
taken with all possible expedition to a public house 
where proper means was pursued for his recovery, and 
with so much success that the perfect use of all his 
faculties was restored in about half an hour." 

The account given by Smith of his sensations was that 
when first turned off he felt excessive pain, but that it 
almost immediately ceased. The last circumstance he 
recollected was like an irregular and glimmering light 
before his eyes : the pain he felt in hanging was infinitely 
surpassed when his blood was recovering its usual course 
of circulation. 

Hatton, in his " New View of London " 1708, i. 84-5, 
says that Smith hanged for about a quarter of an hour ; 
he adds that the executioner, while Smith was hanging, 
pulled his legs, and used other means to put a speedy 
period to his life. 

Smith did not profit by this severe lesson. For a while 
indeed he served the cause of law and order, as will be 
seen by the following : 

1706. March. Smith, who, sometime since was half- 
hanged and cut down, having accused about 350 pick- 
pockets, house breakers, &c., who gott to be soldiers in 
the guards, the better to hide their roguery, were last 
week upon mustering the regiments drawn out and 
immediately shipt off for Catalonia : and about 60 women, 
who lay under condemnation for such crimes, were like- 
wise sent away to follow the camp (Luttrell, vi. 25). 

And again : 1706. November 9. The officers of her 
majesties guards yesterday drew out their companies in 
St. James's Park, which were viewed by Smith (some- 
time since hang'd at Tyburn, but a reprieve coming was 
cut down before dead) and two other persons in 
masks, in order to discover felons and housebreakers : 


out of which 2 Serjeants with 6 soldiers were seized 
as criminals and committed to the Marshalsea prison 
(Luttrell, vi. 105). 

Smith had received an unconditional pardon ; later he 
was again tried for burglary, and acquitted on a point 
of law. Lesson number 2. But Smith was a third time 
apprehended on a charge of burglary and committed for 
trial. The prosecutor died, and Smith was discharged. 
It is said that finally he was drowned at sea. 

Smith's recovery from hanging does not stand alone. 
In 1740 there was a case of a man who was left hanging 
for the usual time, and recovered : 

1740. November 25. Yesterday only five of the 
Malefactors were executed at Tyburn : two of them, viz., 
George Wight and Abraham Hancock having obtain'd a 
Reprieve thro' the Intercession of a Noble Peer. 

Duel, executed for the Rape, was brought to Surgeons- 
Hall, in order for Anatomy, but after he was stripp'd and 
laid on the Board, and one of the Servants was washing 
him, to be cut up, he perceived Life in him, and found 
his Breath to come quicker and quicker, on which a 
Surgeon bled him, and took several Ounces of Blood 
from him, and in about two Hours he came so much to 
himself as to sit up in a Chair, groan'd very much, and 
seem'd in great Agitation, but could not speak: tho' it 
was the Opinion of most People if he had been put in a 
warm Bed and proper Care taken, he would have come to 
himself. Whether he's now living we know not, but a 
great Mob assembled at Surgeons-Hall on this Occasion, 
and according to their Law, he could not be executed 
again : but according to the Law of the Land, the Sheriffs 
have a Power to carry him again to Tyburn and execute 
him, his former sentence, of being hung till he was dead, 
not having been executed. Its reckon'd his coming to 
Life was owing to the wrong Disposition of the Halter " 
(London Daily Post and General Advertiser). 

Duel or Dewell did not recollect being hanged : he 


said that he had been in a dream ; that he dreamed of 
Paradise, where an angel told him his sins were forgiven. 
He made a complete recovery. At the next sessions at 
the Old Bailey he was ordered to be transported for life. 

Some years before this, the problem of the recovery of 
persons hanged had received careful attention. Thus, 
we find the following in the Gentleman's Magazine for 
1733 (April 27), p. 213 : 

Mr. Chovet, a Surgeon, having by frequent Experi- 
ments on Dogs, discovered, that opening the Windpipe, 
would prevent the fatal Consequences of the Halter, 
undertook Mr. Gordon, and made an Incision in his 
Windpipe: the Effect of which was, that when Gordon 
stopt his Mouth, Nostrils, and Ears for some Time, Air 
enough came thro' the Cavity to continue Life. When 
he was hang'd he was perceived to be alive after all the 
rest were dead : and when he had hung 3 quarters of an 
Hour, being carried to a House in Tyburn Road, he 
opened his Mouth several Times and groaned, and a 
Vein being open'd he bled freely. 'Twas thought, if he 
had been cut down 5 Minutes sooner, he might have 

Two cases of recovery, not assisted by the surgeon, 
are recorded in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1736. On 
July 26 one Reynolds, a turnpike leveller, 1 was hanged 
and cut down in the usual course. But as the coffin was 
being fastened down, Reynolds thrust back the lid, 
whereupon the executioner was for tying him up again. 
This however the mob would not suffer. Reynolds 
was carried to a house where he vomited a quantity of 
blood, but he died after being made to drink a glass of 

On September 23rd two men were hanged at Bristol, 
cut down and put into coffins, when both revived. One 
died later in the day ; what befel the other is not told. 

1 Turnpike levelling was made a capital offence by 8 Geo. II. 
(1735) c. 20. 


The Gentleman's Magazine for 1767 (p. 90) records 
the execution at Cork, on January 24th, of Patrick Red- 
mond who hung for twenty-eight minutes. "The mob 
carried off the body to a place appointed, where he was, 
after five or six hours actually recovered by a surgeon 
who made the incision in his windpipe called broncho- 
tomy. The poor fellow has since received his pardon, 
and a genteel collection has been made for him." 

More interesting than any of these cases is an earlier 
one fully recorded in a little book published in 1651, 
" Newes from the Dead, or a true and exact narration 
of the miraculous deliverance of Anne Greene, who 
being executed at Oxford, December 14, 1650, afterwards 
revived, and by the care of certain Physitians there is 
now perfectly recovered. Together with the manner of 
her suffering, and the particular means used for her 
recovery. Written by a Scholler in Oxford for the 
satisfaction of a friend who desired to be informed 
concerning the truth of the businesse. Whereunto are 
prefixed certain Poems casually written upon that 

One of the poems is by " Chris. Wren, Gent. Com. of 
Wad. Coll." 

Anne Greene was convicted of killing her newly-born 
child, but it is open to doubt whether the child was 
born alive. This is the account of the execution : " She 
was turned off the ladder, 1 hanging by the neck for the 
space of almost half an houre, some of her friends in 
the meantime thumping her on the breast, others hanging 
with all their weight upon her legs, sometimes lifting her 
up, and then pulling her doune again with a sudden 

1 Hanging on the triangular gallows at Tyburn was effected by 
placing the sufferer, with the rope round his neck, on a cart. This 
being drawn from under him, he was left hanging. Elsewhere the 
usual way was to make the sufferer mount a ladder, which was 
turned, so leaving him suspended. When several persons were 
executed in this way, they were hanged, not simultaneously, but one 
after the other. 



jerk, thereby the sooner to despatch her out of her pain ; 
insomuch that the Under-sheriff fearing lest thereby 
they should break the rope forbad them to do so any 

The body was carried in a coffin into a private house, 
and showing signs of life, " a lusty fellow that stood by 
(thinking to do an act of charity in ridding her out of the 
small reliques of a painfull life) stamped several times on 
her breast and stomach with all the force he could." 
Dr. Petty, the Professor of Anatomy, coming in with 
another, they set themselves to recover her. They bled 
her freely, and put her into bed with another woman. 
After about two hours she could speak "many words 
intelligible." On the igth (having been hanged on the 
I4th) she was up ; within a month she was recovered, 
and went to her friends in the country, taking her coffin 
with her. 

On June 19, 1728, Margaret Dickenson was hanged at 
Edinburgh. After hanging for the usual time, the 
body was cut down, put into a coffin, and so into a cart 
for carriage to the place of interment. The man in 
charge of the cart stopped in a village to drink, and while 
so engaged, saw the lid of the coffin move : at last the 
woman sat up in her coffin. Most of those present fled 
in terror, but a gardener, who happened to be there, 
opened a vein. Within an hour Margaret was put to 
bed, and on the next day walked home. The story is 
told in the "Newgate Calendar" of 1774, with a picture 
of Margaret sitting up in her coffin. 

These cases, astounding as they are, are eclipsed by 
one known only by the barest statement of the fact. In 
the 28th of Henry III. (1264) a woman, Ivettade Balsham, 
was, for some felony, hanged at three o'clock one after- 
noon. She was let down from the gallows at sunrise the 
next morning, and found to be alive. A pardon was 
granted to her. The date of the pardon is August i6th, 
and the execution must have taken place some time before 


this date. But even if Ivetta was hanged on midsummer 
day she must have been hanging twelve long hours. 1 

1712. December 23. Richard Town was executed at 
Tyburn. Being bankrupt, he absconded, and was 
apprehended, having twenty guineas and other money 
in his possession (Montague, " The Old Bailey Chronicle," 
i. 69-70). 

Sir James Fitzjames Stephen says that setting in the 
pillory for fraudulent concealment of goods to the value 
of 20 " continued to be the statutory penalty for fraudu- 
lent bankruptcy from 21 James I. (1623) c. 19, s. 7 till the 
year 1732." 2 The reference is to the Act 5 George II. 
c. 30. Sir James appears, however, to have overlooked a 
previous Act, 4 & 5 Anne (1705), c. 4, s. i of which 
made fraudulent bankruptcy a felony without benefit of 
clergy. It is said that there were but few executions for 
this offence. The most remarkable case is that of John 
Perrott, who was executed at Smithfield (not at Tyburn) 
on November n, 1761. The story, of singular interest, 
is told in great detail in the Gentleman's Magazine for 
the year, xxxi. 585-92. 

1715. December 7. Nine adherents of the Pretender 
were executed at Tyburn. 

There followed other executions : 

1716. May 14. Colonel Oxburgh. 
May 25. Richard Gascoign. 

July 18. Rev. William Paul and John Hall. 
In his account of the execution of Paul and Hall, Mr. 
Lorrain, the ordinary of Newgate, says : " The cart being 
drawn away, and they being turned off, the' People gave a 

1 48 Regis Henrici Tertii. 

Pardonatio concessa Ivettae de Balsham eo quod suspensa f uit pro 
quadam felonia ab hora nona die Lunas usque ortum solis diei 
Martis sequent et tamen viva evasit, apud Cantuar 16 Augusti. Cal. 
Rot. Patentium (1802), p. 34. 

3 The punishment of the pillory for fraudulent bankruptcy was 
previously enacted by i James I. c. 15, s. 4. 


mighty shout, and with loud Acclamations said, God save 
King George. To which I say, Amen." 

As mention has been made of Mr. Lorrain, it may be 
not amiss to say something about him. The Rev. Paul 
Lorrain, probably of Huguenot extraction, was the 
ordinary of Newgate from 1698 to 1719. The British 
Museum possesses nearly fifty of the broadsheets issued 
by him, giving accounts of the behaviour, last speeches, 
and execution of the criminals who came under his care 
in Newgate. The worthy ordinary was perhaps inclined 
to estimate too highly the effect of his ministrations on 
these criminals. His representations of their penitent 
attitude procured for them the name of " Paul Lorrain's 
Saints" (Tatler, No. 63). There is a good-humoured 
reference to this weakness in the Spectator, No. 338. 

1718. March 17. Execution of Ferdinando Marquis 
de Palleotti. 

The Duke of Shrewsbury, being at Rome, fell in love 
with Palleotti's sister, and upon the lady's conversion to 
Protestantism, married her. Ferdinando visited his sister 
in England. He was addicted to gambling, and made 
such demands upon his sister's purse that at length she 
refused further supplies. He was arrested for debt, and 
liberated by her. Walking in the street one day, he 
ordered his servant to call upon a gentleman in the 
neighbourhood, and ask for a loan. The servant show- 
ing reluctance to fulfil the order, the marquis drew his 
sword and ran him through the body. According to the 
ordinary, the marquis thought it a great hardship that he 
should die for so small a matter as killing his servant 
(James Mountague, "The Old Bailey Chronicle," i. 185-8). 

A few hours after the execution of the marquis, James 
Shepherd, an adherent of the Pretender, was drawn to 
Tyburn and there hanged and quartered. 

1718. May 31. The hangman of Tyburn, John Price, 
known by the common name Jack Ketch, was hanged, for 
murder, near the scene of the crime, in Bunhill-Fields. 


1721. February 8. On this day were executed at 
Tyburn four men, one of whom had undergone the 
peine forte et dure. 

Four men were indicted for highway robberies. Two 
refusing to plead, the court gave orders to read the judg- 
ment appointed to be executed on such as stand mute or 
refuse to plead to their indictment. 

"That the prisoner shall be sent to the prison from 
whence he came, and put into a mean room, stopped 
from the light, and shall there be laid on the bare ground 
without any litter, straw, or other covering, and without 
any garment about him except something about his 
middle. He shall lie upon his back, his head shall be 
covered and his feet shall be bare. One of his arms 
shall be drawn with a cord to the side of the room, and 
the other arm to the other side, and his legs shall be 
served in the like manner. Then there shall be laid upon 
his body as much iron or stone as he can bear, and 
more. And the first day after he shall have three 
morsels of barley bread, without any drink, and the 
second day he shall be allowed to drink as much as he 
can, at three times, of the water that is next the prison 
door, except running water, without any bread ; and this 
shall be his diet till he dies : and he against whom the 
judgment shall be given forfeits his goods to the 

This having no effect on the prisoners, the executioner 
(as is usual in such cases) was ordered to tie their thumbs 
together, and draw the cord as tight as he was able, which 
was immediately done ; neither this, nor all the admoni- 
tions of the court being sufficient to bring them to plead, 
they were sentenced to be pressed to death. They were 
carried back to Newgate. As soon as they entered the 
press-room, Phillips desired that he might return to the 
bar and plead, but Spiggott continuing obstinate was put 
under the press. He bore three hundred and fifty 
pounds weight for half an hour, but then fifty more being 


added, 1 he begged that he might be carried back to plead, 
which favour was granted." 

After the treatment he was very faint and almost 
speechless for two days. One of his reasons given to 
the ordinary of Newgate for enduring the press was that 
none might reproach his children by telling them their 
father was hanged. Before he was taken out of the 
press, he was in a kind of slumber and had hardly any 
sense of pain left. 2 

1721. July 5. Barbara Spencer was burnt at Tyburn 
for coining. At the stake " she was very desirous of 
praying, and complained of the dirt and stones thrown 
by the mob behind her, which prevented her thinking 
sedately on futurity. One time she was quite beat down 
by them" (Villette, i. 32-6). 

1721. December 22. Nathaniel Hawes, a young man 
of 20, had been out of prison but a few days when he 
robbed a man on the highway of qs. He refused to 
plead, because a handsome suit of clothes had been taken 
from him, and he was resolved not to go to the gallows 
in a shabby suit. The court ordered that his thumbs 
should be tied together. The cord was pulled by two 
officers till it broke, and this was repeated several times 
without effect. He was then put in the press, and gave in 
when he had borne a weight of 250 Ibs. for about seven 
minutes. (Reference has already been made to this case 
on p. 41 in treating of the peine forte et dure). 

1724. November 16. John, or Jack Sheppard, for 

Jack Sheppard does not seem to have committed any 
crime worse than burglary : his hands were not stained 
with blood. He was famed for several remarkable escapes 

1 According to Monsieur Cesar de Saussure, who was in England 
in 1726, the weight was increased every four hours (" Lettres et 
Voyages," pp. 126-7). 

2 Villette, ("Annals of Newgate,'' i. 16-24). A" account of the 
origin and development of this practice has been given on 
pp. 36-43. 

'." S Pi (j (i OT ,/,/,> /,',,/.,;<, ,,t X K W(i ATJsi 

v ////// // 

' //<"/ JlUVtff/Jtlt /I' ///,/ //f<f/i///Jf/l/ . ) 



from prison. He had once escaped from Newgate and 
being again arrested, unusual care was taken of him. 
But he once more and for the last time escaped, being 
soon after captured while drunk. For better security he 
was lodged in a strong room called the Castle, where he 
was hand-cuffed, loaded with a heavy pair of irons, and 
chained to a staple in the floor. The Sessions at the Old 
Bailey began on October I4th, and Jack, knowing that the 
keepers would be busy in attending the court, thought 
that this would be the only time to make a push for his 

" The next day, about two in the afternoon, one of the 
keepers carried Jack his dinner, examined his irons, and 
found all fast. Jack then went to work. He got off his 
hand-cuffs, and with a crooked nail he found on the 
floor, opened the great padlock that fastened his chain to 
the staple. Next he twisted asunder a small link of the 
chain between his legs, and drawing up his feet-locks as 
high as he could, he made them fast with his garters. 
He attempted to get up the chimney, but had not 
advanced far before his progress was stopped by an iron 
bar that went across within-side, and therefore being 
descended, he went to work on the outside, and with a 
piece of his broken chain picked out the mortar, and 
removing a small stone or two about six feet from the 
floor, he got out the iron bar, an inch square and near a 
yard long, and this proved of great service to him. He 
presently made so large a breach, that he got into the 
Red-Room over the Castle, there he found a great nail, 
which was another very useful implement. The door of 
his room had not been opened for seven years past ; but 
in less than seven minutes he wrenched off the lock, and 
got into the entry leading to the Chapel. Here he found 
a door bolted on the other side, upon which he broke a 
hole through the wall, and pushed the bolt back. Com- 
ing now to the chapel-door, he broke off one of the iron 
spikes, which he kept for further use, and so got into an 


entry between the chapel and the lower leads. The door 
of this entry was very strong, and fastened with a great 
lock, and what was worse, the night had overtaken him, 
and he was forced to work in the dark. However, in 
half an hour, by the help of the great nail, the chapel 
spike, and the iron bar, he forced off the box of the 
lock, and opened the door, which led him to another yet 
more difficult, for it was not only locked, but barred and 
bolted. When he had tried in vain to make this lock 
and box give way, he wrenched the fillet from the main 
post of the door, and the box and staples came off with 
it: and now St. Sepulchre's chimes went eight. There 
was yet another door betwixt him and the lower leads ; 
but it being only bolted within-side, he opened it easily, 
and mounting to the top of it, he got over the wall, and 
so to the upper leads. 

"His next consideration was, how to get down; for 
which purpose looking round him, and finding the top 
of the Turner's house adjoining to Newgate, was the most 
convenient place to alight upon, he resolved to descend 
thither ; but as it would have been a dangerous leap, 
he went back to the Castle the same way he came, and 
fetched a blanket he used to lie on. This he made fast 
to the wall of Newgate, with the spike he stole out of the 
Chapel, and so sliding down, dropped upon the Turner's 
leads, and then the clock struck nine. Luckily for him, 
the Turner's garret-door on the leads happened to be 
open. He went in, and crept softly down one pair of 
stairs, when he heard company talking in a room below. 
His irons giving a clink, a woman started, and said, 
'Lord ! What noise is that ?' Somebody answered, 'The 
dog or the cat'; and thereupon Sheppard returned up to 
the garret, and having continued there above two hours, 
he ventured down a second time, when he heard a 
gentleman take leave of the company, and saw the maid 
light him down stairs. As soon as the maid came back, 
and had shut the chamber door, he made the best of his 


way to the street door, unlocked it, and so made his 
escape about twelve at night." 

But on October 3ist Jack made merry at a public-house 
in Newgate Street, with two ladies of his acquaintance, 
afterwards treated his mother in Clare Market with three 
quarterns of brandy, and in a word got so drunk that he 
forgot all caution and was once more apprehended. 

He still had schemes for eluding justice. He had got 
hold of a penknife ; with this on the road to Tyburn he 
would cut the qords binding his hands, jump from the 
cart into the crowd and run through Little Turnstile, where 
the mounted officers could not follow him, and he reckoned 
on the sympathy of the mob to help him to make good 
his escape. But he was searched, and the knife was taken 
from him. He had one last hope ; he urged his friends 
to get possession of his body as soon as cut down, and 
put it into a warm bed ; so he thought, and precedents 
were not wanting, his life might be prolonged. This, 
too, came to naught (Villette, i. 261-6). 

In the twenty-third year of his age " died with great 
difficulty, and much pitied by the mob," the prince of 

Villette says : " I don't remember any felon in this 
kingdom, whose adventures have made so much noise as 
Sheppard's." Six or more stories of his life appeared : 
among his biographers was Defoe. Sir James Thornhill 
painted his portrait, reproduced in a mezzotint engraving. 
The British Journal of November 28, 1724, contained 
verses on this portrait : 

Thornhill, 'tis thine to gild with fame 
Th' obscure, and raise the humble name : 
To make the form elude the grave, 
And Sheppard from oblivion save. 

Apelles Alexander drew, 

Caesar is to Aurellius due, 

Cromwell in Lilly's works doth shine, 

And Sheppard, Thornhill, lives in thine t 


Nor did the pulpit disdain to draw a moral from 
Sheppard's career : 

" O that ye were all like Jack Sheppard ! Mistake me 
not, my brethren, I don't mean in a carnal, but in a spiri- 
tual sense, for I purpose to spiritualise these things. . . . 
Let me exhort ye then, to open the Locks of your Hearts 
with the Nail of Repentance : burst asunder the Fetters 
of your beloved Lusts : mount the Chimney of Hope, take 
from thence the Bar of good Resolution, break through 
the Stone-wall of Despair, fix the blanket of Faith with 
the Spike of the Church. Let yourselves down to the 
Turner's House of Resignation, and descend the Stairs 
of Humility ; so shall you come to the Door of Deliver- 
ance from the Prison of Iniquity, and escape from the 
Clutches of that old Executioner, the Devil " (Villette, 
i- 253-72). 

A few days before, on November n, Joseph Black, 
better known as " Blueskin," a companion of Jack Shep- 
pard, had been hanged at Tyburn. 1 

1725. May 24. Jonathan Wild, "the thief-taker." 

Jonathan Wild, whose exploits were celebrated by 
Fielding in "Jonathan Wild, the Great," invented a 
new method which may be described as running with 
the hare and riding with the hounds. He was in league 
with great numbers of thieves of all kinds, from high- 
waymen downwards. This body was described as "a 
corporation of thieves of which Wild was the head 
or director." He divided the country into districts, 
assigning gangs for the working of each. These gangs 
accounted to him for the proceeds of their robberies. 
He selected by preference convicts returned from trans- 
portation, because, in case of accident, they could not 
give legal evidence against him ; moreover, they were in 
his power, and if any rebelled he could hang them. For 
fifteen years he carried on this system. His depredations 
were on a large scale : he had in his pay several artists 
1 Swift wrote some verses on Blueskin, 


to alter watches, rings, and other objects of value, so as 
not to be recognised by their owners. 

At his trial he circulated among the jury a list of 
persons apprehended and convicted by his means : 35 
for highway robbery, 22 for burglary, 10 for returning 
from transportation. It would be too tedious, he said, 
to give a list of minor cases. Written in his name is an 
elegy, of which these are a few lines : 

Ye Britons ! curs'd with an unthankful mind, 
For ever to exalted merit blind, 
Is thus your constant benefactor spurn'd ? 
Are thus his faithful services return'd ? 
This dungeon his reward for labours past ? 
And Tyburn his full recompence at last ? 

On the way to Tyburn he was cursed and pelted. The 
rest of the batch being tied up, the executioner told Wild 
he might have any reasonable time to prepare himself. 
This so incensed the mob that they threatened to knock 
the hangman on the head if he did not at once perform 
the duties of his office. The body was buried in the 
churchyard of Old St. Paricras, but was afterwards re- 
moved, by surgeons as was supposed. 

1726. May 9. Catherine Hays and Thomas Billings, 
executed for the murder of John Hays, the husband 
of Catherine. Thomas Wood, also condemned for the 
murder, died on May 4 in the " Condemned-Hold." 

Hays's body was cut up by the murderers, and the head 
thrown into the Thames, but it was recovered and set 
up on a pole in the churchyard of St. Margaret's, West- 
minster. This led to identification and discovery of the 
criminals. Catherine Hays was drawn on a sledge to 
Tyburn. Here she was chained to a stake and faggots 
were piled around her. A rope round her neck was 
passed through a hole in the stake. When the fire had 
got well alight and had reached the woman, the exe- 
cutioner pulled the rope, intending to strangle her, but, 
the fire reaching his hands, he was forced to desist. More 


faggots were then piled on the woman, and in about three 
or four hours she was reduced to ashes. Billings was put 
in irons as he was hanging on the gallows, his body was 
then cut down, carried to a gibbet about a hundred 
yards distant, and there suspended in chains (Villette i. 

Thackeray's " Catherine, A Story," originally published 
in Fraser's Magazine, is based on this case, much as 
Fielding's "Jonathan Wild the Great" is based upon the 
career of that worthy. 

1732. October 9. Thirteen executed at Tyburn. 

1733. January 29. Twelve malefactors, condemned 
in the three preceding sessions, executed at Tyburn. 

1733. May 28. John Davis, feigning sickness, begged 
that he might not be tied in the cart. When he came to 
the Tree, he jumped from the cart and ran across two 
fields. A countyman knocked him down, and he was 
brought back and hanged. 

1733. December 19. Thirteen executed at Tyburn. 
Among them were a man and a woman condemned for 
coining. They were, as usual, drawn in a sledge : the 
man, after being hanged, was slashed across the body. 
The woman, chained to a stake, was first strangled and 
then burnt. 

1737. March 12. Twelve malefactors executed at 

1738. January 18. Thirteen, convicted in October 
and December, executed at Tyburn. 

1738. November 8. Eleven executed at Tyburn. 

1739. March 14. Eleven executed at Tyburn. 
December 20. Eleven executed at Tyburn. 

1741. We are so fortunate as to possess an account of 
an execution written at this time by Samuel Richardson, 
the first great English novelist. It is found in a volume, 
printed without the author's name ; a kind of Polite 
Letter Writer, bearing this portentous title : 

"Letters written to and for particular friends on the 


most important occasions. Directing not only the re- 
quisite style and forms to be observed in writing familiar 
letters ; but how to think and act justly and prudently in 
the common concerns of Human Life, containing one 
hundred and seventy-three letters, none of which were 
ever before published." 

Letter CLX. (p. 239), is as follows : 

From a Country Gentleman in Town to his Brother 
in the Country, describing a publick Execution in 

DEAR BROTHER, I have this day been satisfying a 
Curiosity I believe natural to most People, by seeing an 
Execution at Tyburn. The Sight has had an extra- 
ordinary Effect upon me, which is more owing to the 
unexpected Oddness of the scene, than the affecting 
Concern which is unavoidable in a thinking Person, at 
a Spectacle so awful, and so interesting, to all who con- 
sider themselves of the same Species with the unhappy 

That I might the better view the Prisoners, and escape 
the Pressure of the Mob, which is prodigious, nay, almost 
incredible, if we consider the Frequency of these Execu- 
tions in London, which is once a Month ; I mounted my 
Horse, and accompanied the melancholy Cavalcade from 
Newgate to the fatal Tree. The Criminals were Five in 
Number. I was much disappointed at the Unconcern 
and Carelessness that appeared in the Faces of Three of 
the unhappy Wretches : The countenances of the other 
Two were spread with that Horror and Despair which is 
not to be wonder'd at in Men whose Period of Life is so 
near, with the terrible Aggravation of its being hasten'd 
by their own voluntary Indiscretion and Misdeeds. The 
Exhortation spoken by the Bell-man, from the Wall of 
St. Sepulchre's Church-yard, is well intended ; but the 
Noise of the Officers, and the Mob, was so great, and the 
silly Curiosity of People climbing into the Cart to take 
leave of the Criminals, made such a confused Noise, that 



I could not hear the Words of the Exhortation when 
spoken, though they are as follow : 

All good People, pray heartily to GOD for these poor 
Sinners, who are now going to their Deaths : for whom 
this great Bell doth toll. 

You that are condemn'd to die, repent with lameritable 
Tears. Ask Mercy of the Lord for the Salvation of your 
own Souls, thro' the Merits, Death, and Passion of Jesus 
Christ, who now sits at the Right-hand of God, to make 
Intercession for as many of you as penitently return unto 

Lord have Mercy upon you ! Christ have Mercy upon 
you ! 

Which last Words the Bell-man repeats three times. 

All the way up to Holborn the Croud was so great, as 
at every twenty or thirty Yards to obstruct the Passage ; 
and Wine, notwithstanding a late good Order against 
that Practice, was brought to the Malefactors, who drank 
greedily of it, which I thought did not suit well with 
their deplorable Circumstances : After this, the Three 
thoughtless young Men, who at first seemed not enough 
concerned, grew most shamefully daring and wanton ; 
behaving themselves in a manner that would have 
been ridiculous in Men in any Circumstances whatever : 
They swore, laugh'd, and talk'd obscenely, and wish'd 
their wicked Companions good Luck, with as much 
Assurance as if their employment had been the most 

At the Place of Execution, the Scene grew still more 
shocking ; and the Clergyman who attended was more 
the subject of Ridicule, than of their serious Attention. 
The Psalm was sung amidst the Curses and Quarrelling 
of Hundreds of the most abandon'd and profligate of 
Mankind : Upon whom (so stupid are they to any Sense 
of Decency) all the Preparation of the unhappy Wretches 
seems to serve only for Subject of a barbarous Kind of 
Mirth, altogether inconsistent with Humanity. And as 


soon as the poor Creatures were half dead, I was much 
surprised, before such a number of Peace-Officers, to see 
the Populace fall to hailing and pulling the Carcasses 
with so much Earnestness as to occasion several warm 
Rencounters, and broken Heads. These, I was told, were 
the Friends of the Persons executed, or such as, for the 
sake of Tumult, chose to appear so, and some Persons 
sent by private Surgeons to obtain Bodies for Dissection. 
The Contests between these were fierce and bloody, and 
frightful to look at : So that I made the best of my way 
out of the Crowd, and, with some Difficulty, rode back 
among a large Number of People, who had been upon 
the same Errand as myself. The Face of every one 
spoke a kind of Mirth, as if the Spectacle they had 
beheld had afforded Pleasure instead of Pain, which 
I am wholly unable to account for. 

In other Nations, common Criminal Executions are 
said to be little attended by any beside the necessary 
Officers, and the mournful Friends ; but here, all was 
Hurry and Confusion, Racket and Noise, Praying and 
Oaths, Swearing and singing Psalms : I am unwilling to 
impute this Difference in our own to the Practice of 
other Nations, to the Cruelty of our Natures ; to which 
Foreigners, however to our Dishonour, ascribe it. In 
most Instances, let them say what they will, we are 
humane beyond what other Nations can boast; but in 
this, the Behaviour of my Countrymen is past my 
accounting for ; every Street and Lane I passed through, 
bearing rather the Face of a Holiday, than of that Sorrow 
which I expected to see, for the untimely Deaths of five 
Members of the Community. 

One of the Bodies was carried to the Lodging of his 
Wife, who not being in the way to receive it, they 
immediately hawked it about to every Surgeon they 
could think of ; and when none would buy it, they 
rubb'd Tar all over it, and left it in a Field hardly 
cover'd with Earth. 


This is the best Description I can give you of a 
Scene that was no way entertaining to me, and which 
I shall not again take so much Pains to see. I am, dear 
Brother, Yours affectionately. 

Mandeville, writing some years earlier, gives an 
account, even more unfavourable, of the behaviour 
of the crowd. 1 

The batch of convicts whose execution is described 
by Richardson did not happen to include a highway- 
man. Here is a portion of Swift's account of "Clever 
Tom Clinch, going to be hanged," a piece written in 
1727 : 

His waistcoat, and stockings, and breeches, were white ; 

His cap had a new cherry ribbon to tie't. 

The maids to the doors and the balconies ran, 

And said, ' Lack-a-day, he's a proper young man ! ' 

But, as from the windows the ladies he spied, 

Like a beau in the box, he bow'd low on each side. 

Richardson's long description may be supplemented by 
the chaplain's account of the last scene : 

The rev. Paul Lorrain, Ordinary of Newgate, as has 
been said elsewhere, was in the habit of printing an 
account of the behaviour of criminals, after condemna- 
tion. He gives long accounts of his sermons. In the 
broadsheet relating to an execution at Tyburn on 
March 22, 1704, he describes the proceedings at Tyburn. 
The Ordinary exhorts the criminals to clear their con- 
sciences by making a free confession. The malefactors 
then address the people praying them to take warning 
from the example before them. Then the Ordinary 
proceeds to prayer : afterwards to the rehearsal of the 
Articles of the Christian faith : then comes the singing 
of penitential hymns 2 : then prayer again. " And so, 

1 "An Enquiry into the Causes of the frequent Executions at 
Tyburn," 1725. 

2 Pope, in his " Dunciad " speaks of " hymning Tyburn's elegiac 

lines" (i. 41). 


taking my leave of them, I exhorted them to cry to 
God for Mercy to the last Moment of their Lives, 
which they did, and for which they had some time 
allow'd them. Then the Cart drew away, and they 
were turn'd off, as they were calling upon God." 

17431745. At the Old Bailey sessions, Septem- 
ber 7-12, were indicted James Stansbury and Mary 
his wife, for the robbery of Mr. or Captain George 
Morgan. The case is very interesting, as having fur- 
nished to Hogarth the motive of one of his prints in 
the series of "The Effects of Industry and Idleness." 
Captain Morgan, going home in the early hours of the 
morning of July 17, seeing a lady in the street, feared 
for her safety, and gallantly offered to escort her home. 
He was taken into a house where he was robbed and 
assaulted. The house, in Hanging-Sword Alley, Fleet 
Street, bore an execrable reputation, in virtue of which 
it was known as "Blood-Bowl House." At the trial 
Mary Stansbury asked a witness, " Have I not let you 
go all over the house, to see if there were any trap- 
doors as it was represented ? " The witness, Sharrock, 
replied that he had looked all over the house and saw 
no trap-door. It will be recollected that in Hogarth's 
print the body of a murdered man is being thrust 
through a trap-door. The same witness spoke of the 
house as "Blood-Bowl House." Stansbury asked him 
how he came to know of the Blood Bowl, to which 
Sharrock replied that he had seen it in the newspapers. 
(I have been less fortunate : I have not found accounts 
in contemporary newspapers referring to the name or to 
the trap-door). Stansbury was acquitted : his wife was 
sentenced to death, the sentence being afterwards com- 
muted to one of transportation. 

Stansbury was afterwards convicted of burglary. He 
described himself as a clockmaker, living in Whitechapel, 
from which we may infer that Hanging-Sword Alley 
had become too hot for him. It would seem too that 



he had not retired from Blood Bowl House with a 

Mr. Nicholls in his notes on the print gives the name 
of Blood-Bowl to the Alley, but there is no evidence that 
it was ever officially known by this name. The alley is 
Hanging-Sword Alley in Rocque's map of 1746 ; it bears 
the same name in Hatton's " New View," 1708, and in 
Stow's "Survey of London" we read: "Then is Water 
Lane, running down by the west side of a house called 
the Hanging Sword, to the Thames." The alley appears 
under this name in various books giving the names 
of streets : it was Hanging-Sword Alley when Dickens 
wrote "Bleak House," and it is Hanging-Sword Alley 

1749. February 20. Usher Gahagan was executed 
at Tyburn. Gahagan was a scholar. He edited 
Brindley's edition of the classics, and translated into 
Latin verse Pope's Essay on Criticism. He also, while 
in prison, translated into Latin verse Pope's "Temple of 
Fame," and " Messiah " " with a Latin Dedication to his 
Grace the Duke of Newcastle." His offence was filing 
gold money. These verses were addressed to him : 

Who without rapture can thy verses read, 
Who hear thy fate, and sorrow not succeed, 
Who not condole thee betwixt fear and hope, 
Who not admire thee, thus translating Pope ? 
Translating Pope in never-dying lays, 
Bereft of books, of liberty and ease : 
Translating Pope, beneath severest doom, 
In numbers worthy old Augustan Rome : 
Whose ablest sons might glory in thy strains, 
Tho' sung in Massy, Dire, incumb'ring chains. 

The catalogue of the library of the British Museum 
includes ten works by Usher Gahagan. 

1749. October 18. Fifteen malefactors were exe- 
cuted at Tyburn. There had been a riot in the 
Strand, where a number of sailors had wrecked a 


house in which a sailor had been maltreated. There 
exists a well-known print of the riot. The London 
Magazine gives the following account of the execu- 
tion : 

About nine in the morning the criminals were put 
into the carts. Mr. Sheriff Janssen, holding his white 
wand, and on horseback, attended the execution, accom- 
panied by his proper officers. At Holborn-bars Mr. 
Sheriff dismissed very civilly the party of foot-guards, 
who otherwise would have marched to Tyburn. The 
multitude of spectators was infinite. Though a rescue 
had been threatened by many (on account of Wilson and 
Penlez, the two ill-fated young rioters, both of whom 
were expected to suffer) there yet was not the least dis- 
turbance, except during a moment at the gallows, where 
a vast body of sailors, some of whom were armed with 
cutlasses, and all with bludgeons, began to be very 
clamorous as the unhappy sufferers were going to be 
turned off, which Mr. Sheriff perceiving, he rode up to 
them and enquired in the mildest terms the reason of 
their tumult. Being answered that they only wanted to 
save the bodies of their brethren from the surgeons, and 
the Sheriff promising that the latter should not have them, 
the sailors thanked the above magistrate, wished every 
blessing to attend him, and assured him that they had 
no design to interrupt him in the execution of his office. 
The criminals seemed very penitent, and were turned off 
about twelve. 

It would appear that in 1750 the immemorial custom 
of halting at St. Giles's, for " the bowl," was abolished : 

1750. February 7. The criminals on their way to 
Tyburn were under double guard. The procession 
closed with the two under-sheriffs, who did not permit 
the carts to stop for the malefactors to drink by the 
way. There were thirteen criminals. 

1750. May 16. Thirteen executed at Tyburn. 

1750. July 6. Three women were executed at Tyburn. 


They were drunk, contrary to an express order of the 
Court of Aldermen against serving them with strong 

1750. August 8. Six executed at Tyburn. " It is 
remarkable that the above six malefactors suffered for 
robbing their several prosecutors of no more than six 
shillings" (London Magazine). 

1750. October 3. Twelve malefactors executed at 
Tyburn. One of them was the celebrated "Gentleman 
Highwayman," Mr. Maclean. Another was William 
Smith, the son of a clergyman in Ireland. Smith was 
convicted of forgery. The Universal Magazine of 
October, 1750, gave long accounts of these worthies, 
and printed an ode by Smith on his melancholy con- 
dition. This is one stanza : 

Justice has ranked me with the dead : 
I bow, and own the just decree ; 
Yet, e'er each sense, each thought is fled, 
How shall I front the fatal tree ? 

Hope, faith, the Christian world, inform me how 

With resignation to embrace the blow. 

But ah, Eternity ! tremendous word ! 

There, there, I sink, I tremble ! Help me Lord ! 

Smith had in an advertisement " entreated contributions 
for his decent interment, and that his poor body might 
not fall unto the surgeons, and perpetuate the disgrace of 
his family." According to a newspaper of the time the 
surgeons got possession of one body only (not Smith's) : 
the rest were delivered to the friends. Smith edited 
several volumes of " Classicks." The publisher seized 
the opportunity to advertise them. 

We have a full account of James Maclean, " The 
Gentleman Highwayman," given by Horace Walpole, 
who was robbed by him (Letters, ed. 1857, i. Ixvi. to 
Ixvii., ii. pp. 218-9, 22 4> an d in the World, No. 103, 
December 19, 1754). This is the account in the World : 


An acquaintance of mine was robbed a few years ago, 
and very near shot through the head by the going off of 
the pistol of the accomplished Mr. Maclean : yet the whole 
affair was conducted with the greatest good breeding on 
both sides. The robber, who had only taken a purse this 
way, because he had that morning been disappointed of 
marrying a great fortune, no sooner returned to his lodg- 
ings than he sent the gentleman two letters of excuses, 
which, with less wit than the epistles of Voiture, had ten 
times more natural and easy politeness in the turn of 
their expression. In the postscript, he appointed a meet- 
ing at Tyburn at twelve at night, where the gentleman 
might purchase again any trifle he had lost, and my 
friend has been blamed for not accepting the rendezvous, 
as it seemed liable to be construed by ill-natured people 
into a doubt of the honour of a man who had given him 
all the satisfaction in his power, for having unluckily been 
near shooting him through the head. 

The first Sunday after his condemnation three thousand 
people went to see him. He fainted away twice with the 
heat of his cell. He was only twenty-six when executed. 

A long account of his behaviour in prison was given in 
a pamphlet by the Rev. Dr. Allen. The rev. gentleman 
was greatly concerned to know whether Maclean, by his 
association with " licentious young People of Figure and 
Fortune," who affected to despise " all the principles of 
Natural and Revealed Religion, under the polite Name of 
Free-thinking," had not " fallen into the fashionable way 
of thinking and talking on these Subjects." Maclean was 
able to give his reverend monitor satisfactory assurances 
on this point. Maclean's brother was the minister of the 
English church at The Hague. Maclean lived in fashion- 
able lodgings in St. James's Street, and frequented mas- 
querades, where he at times won or lost considerable 
sums. The skeleton of Maclean appears in the fourth 
plate of Hogarth's "Stages of Cruelty," showing the 
interior of Surgeons' Hall. 


1750. December 31. Fifteen executed at Tyburn. 

1751. February n. Three boy-burglars executed at 

1752. In this year the State made a determined effort 
to " put down " murder. It was a question that had long 
exercised the academic mind. So far back as 1701 a 
writer, known only as "J. R., M.A.," had published a 
tract, " Hanging not Punishment enough for Murtherers, 
High-way Men and House-Breakers." J. R. inquired 
why, since at the last Great Day there will be degrees 
of torment, we should not imitate the Divine Justice ?" 
He invoked, not only the Divine example, but the practice 
of our own laws. " If Death then be due to a Man, who 
surreptitiously steals to the Value of Five Shillings (as it 
is made by a late Statute) surely he who puts me in fear 
of my Life, and breaks the King's Peace, and it may be 
murthers me at last, and burns my House, deserves 
another sort of Censure : and if the one must die, the 
other should be made to feel himself die." 

]. R. therefore proposed hanging alive in chains, the 
victim being left to starve, or he might be broken on the 
wheel, or whipped to death. 

About 1730 J. R., M.A., was followed by a writer who 
had no scruple in revealing his name. George Ollyffe, 
M.A., published " An Essay humbly offer'd for an Act of 
Parliament to prevent Capital Crimes, and the Loss of 
many Lives, and to promote a desirable Improvement 
and Blessing in the Nation." Ollyffe argued that a swift 
death has no terrors. "An execution that is attended 
with more lasting Torment, may strike a far greater Awe, 
much to lessen, if not to put a stop to, their shameless 
Crimes." He, like J. R., speaks with approval (some- 
what modified, indeed) of the ancient practice of hanging 
men alive on gibbets. This plan has, however, its dis- 
advantages ; it is " tedious and disturbing," more than 
" the tender and innocent part of mankind " can bear 
as spectators. He recommends breaking on the wheel, 


<>/ ///*' ' //;,/ f '/ 



" by which the Criminals run through ten thousand 
thousand of the most exquisite Agonies, as there are 
Moments in the several Hours and Days during the 
inconceivable Torture of their bruised, broken, and 
disjointed Limbs to the last Period." Or the twisting 
of a little cord hard about the arms or legs "would 
particularly affect the Nerves, Sinews, and the more 
sensible Parts to produce the keenest Anguish." 

Ollyffe recommended that these things should be done 
on gibbets about twenty poles from the usual places of 
execution, so that " their cries may not much disturb the 
common Passengers." 

The State followed J. R. and Ollyffe at a distance in 
the Act 25 George II. (1752), c. 37, An Act for better 
preventing the horrid Crime of Murder. The preamble 
runs : " Whereas the horrid Crime of Murder has of late 
been more frequently perpetrated than formerly, and 
particularly in and near the Metropolis of this Kingdom, 
contrary to the known Humanity and natural Genius of 
the British Nation ; and whereas it is thereby become 
necessary, that some further Terror and peculiar Mark 
of Infamy be added to the Punishment of Death now 
by Law inflicted on such as shall be guilty of the said 
heinous Offence. . . ." 

The Act directs that persons condemned for murder 
shall be executed on the next day but one after sentence, 
unless Sunday intervenes, when the execution shall take 
place on Monday. 

Bodies to be given to the Surgeons' Company at their 
Hall or where else the Company may appoint, with a 
view to dissection ; or the judge may appoint that the 
body be hanged in chains (not alive as proposed by 
J. R. and Ollyffe). In no case whatsoever is the body 
of a murderer to be buried except after dissection. 
Incidentally, the Act mentions that banging in chains 
was already practised in case of "the most atrocious 


In one point only did the State go beyond its two 
advisers. The words of the Act show clearly that the 
interval between the passing of the sentence and its 
execution was purposely abridged. The interval had 
been allowed so that, with the aid of the ordinary, or 
other minister of religion, the condemned man might 
have time to repent, and to make his peace with Heaven. 
The abridgment of the interval must therefore be regarded 
as intended to lessen the chances of repentance, and to 
send the criminal to judgment still unrepentant. Thus 
regarded, the action of the State denoted a daring attempt 
to prejudice the final award of the Day of Doom ; it was 
a distinct invasion of the jura regalia of the Most High. 

The first to suffer under this Act was Thomas Wilford, 
a one-armed lad of seventeen, who married on a 
Wednesday, and murdered his wife through jealousy on 
the following Sunday. If we may trust the Gentleman's 
Magazine, Wilford, sentenced on June 30, was hanged, 
not on the next day but one after sentence, but on the 
very next day, July i : " Wilford to be executed the 
next morning, and then his body to be dissected and 
anatomised, according to the late Act." 

The fourth plate of Hogarth's " Stages of Cruelty " shows 
the dissection of a criminal at Surgeons' Hall, but as the 
print was published in 1751, Hogarth did not take the 
idea from the Act. Of course, the bodies of criminals 
frequently found their way to Surgeons' Hall before the 
passing of this Act, but was the enactment suggested by 
Hogarth's plate ? 

In 1725 Mandeville proposed that the bodies of the 
hanged should be given to the surgeons for dissection, 
not as an aggravation of capital punishment, but in order 
to supply a want felt by anatomists ; Mandeville was a 
doctor. He says : " Where then shall we find a readier 
Supply ; and what Degree of People are fitter for it than 
those I have named ? When Persons of no Possessions 
of their own, that have slipp'd no Opportunity of 



wronging whomever they could, die without Restitution, 
indebted to the Publick, ought not the injur'd Publick to 
have a Title to, and the Disposal of what the others 
have left ? " (" An Enquiry into the Causes of the 
Frequent Executions at Tyburn," 1725, p. 27.) 

1752, July 13. Eleven executed at Tyburn. 

1753, June 7. Dr. Archibald Cameron, condemned 
for high treason for being concerned "in the late 
rebellion," and not surrendering in time. It might have 
been expected that vengeance would have been satiated 
by the numerous executions that had already taken place : 
then, too, " the late rebellion " was eight years old. Dr. 
Cameron was nevertheless sentenced to be drawn, hanged, 
and quartered. The quartering was omitted. He was, 
moreover, suffered to hang for twenty minutes, so that 
the burning of his bowels was done before eyes closed 
in death. Dr. Cameron met death, not so much with 
fortitude, which implies, in a way, an effort, as with 
perfect equanimity. 

1754, February 4. Twelve executed at Tyburn. 

1757. October 5. Twelve executed at Tyburn. 

1758. December 18. Some surgeons attempting to 
carry off the body of a man executed at Tyburn, the mob 
opposed, a riot ensued, in which several persons were 
wounded. In the end the mob was victorious, and carried 
off the body in triumph. 

1759. Between June 18 and October 3 in this year 
the old triangular gallows, in use for nearly two hundred 
years, was removed, and the new "movable" gallows 
took its place (see pp. 69, 70). 

1760. May 5. Earl Ferrers had more than one 
relative of unsound mind : he himself had given many 
proofs of madness. Without any cause, he shot his 
steward, who had been for thirty years in his service. 
He was undoubtedly a homicidal lunatic who would 
to-day be confined in an asylum. On his trial by the 
House of Lords he produced witnesses to prove his 


insanity, but "his lordship managed this defence himself 
in such a manner as showed perfect recollection of mind, 
and an uncommon understanding." The plea was not 
accepted, the earl was sentenced to death. Under the 
ferocious Act of 1752 the execution should have taken 
place the next day but one, but, in consideration of the 
earl's rank, the execution was deferred to May 5. The 
sentence, however, bore that the body should be 

On the appointed day the earl rejected the mourning 
coach provided by his friends, and obtained permission 
to make the journey from the Tower to Tyburn in his 
own landau, drawn by six horses. He was dressed in a 
suit of light-coloured clothes, embroidered with silver, 
said to be his wedding suit. To the sheriff he said : 
" You may perhaps, sir, think it strange to see me in this 
dress, but I have my particular reasons for it." 

The procession was the grandest that had ever made 
that fatal journey. First came a very large body of 
Middlesex constables, preceded by one of the high 
constables : then a party of horse grenadiers, and a party 
of foot soldiers. 

Mr. Sheriff Errington in his chariot, accompanied by 
his under-sheriff. 

The landau, escorted by two other parties of soldiers. 

Mr. Sheriff Vaillant's chariot, carrying the sheriff and 

A mourning coach and six, with some of his lordship's 

A hearse and six, provided for the conveyance of his 
lordship's corpse from Tyburn to Surgeons' Hall. 

The procession was two hours and three quarters on 
the way, which gave time to the chaplain to worry the 
earl about his religion the world would naturally be 
very inquisitive concerning the religion his lordship 
professed. His lordship replied that he did not think 
himself accountable to the world for his sentiments on 


religion. He greatly blamed my Lord Bolingbroke for 
permitting his sentiments on religion to be published to 
the world. But he did not believe in salvation by faith 

He gave his watch to Sheriff Vaillant, and intended 
to give five guineas to the hangman. By mischance it 
was to the hangman's assistant that the earl handed the 
money, whence arose a dispute between these officers 
of the State. The enjoined dissection was performed 
perfunctorily ; the body was publicly exposed in a room 
for three days, and then given up to friends. There 
exists an engraving showing the body as exposed in the 

Walpole gives a long account of the execution. It was 
remarkable, among other things, for the introduction of a 
new device. " Under the gallows was a new-invented 
stage, to be struck from under him. ... As the 
machine was new, they were not ready at it : his toes 
touched it, and he suffered a little, having had time by 
their bungling to raise his cap : but the executioner pulled 
it down again, and they pulled his legs, so that he was 
soon out of pain, and quite dead in four minutes." The 
" drop " was no more used at Tyburn, but it became a 
feature of the new gallows of Newgate. 

Walpole says that " the executioners fought for the 
rope, and the one that lost it cried." 

There is a story that Ferrers was hanged by a silk rope, 
or, in another version, that he desired to be hanged by 
such a rope. Timbs, in his "Curiosities of London," 
even asserts that the bill for this rope of silk is still in 
existence ; he does not say where. The legend must 
have arisen later. It is a detail which would have 
delighted Walpole; he mentions the rope, as we have 
seen ; his silence as to its particular character seems 
conclusive. But the curious in the matter may consult 
an article by M. Feuillet de Conches ("Causeries d'un 
Curieux," 1862, ii. 333-40); Abraham Hayward, "Bio- 


graphical and Critical Essays," ii. 30 ; an article in the 
Quarterly Review, Ixxxv. 378, and the account of Earl 
Ferrers in the " Dictionary of National Biography." 

The experience gained by the State during six centuries 
of hanging enabled it to make two immense advances in 
the art. To the great Elizabethan era we owe the inven- 
tion of a machine on which a number of victims, up to 
at least twenty-four, could be simultaneously choked out 
of life. This enabled the spectators to concentrate their 
attention on one spot, and therefore to lose not one jot 
of the moral lesson inculcated with so great pains. 

What was behind the invention of the "drop" is not 
so clear. On first sight we are inclined to deem 
it the whim of some "faddist" : indeed, it exhales a 
strong and disagreeable odour of humanitarianism. As 
such we are naturally inclined to condemn it. Our con- 
servative instincts are also against the daring innovation. 
Here was a new principle : the fall would dislocate the 
neck, and the victim would die otherwise than by 
strangulation. The " fall," resulting in immediate death, 
would deprive the public of what was regarded as the 
most diverting episode of the piece the tugging by 
friends at the legs of the suspended man, the thumping 
him on the chest, rough methods of accelerating his 
death. But on consideration it seems probable that the 
State began to have a real concern as to the effect of 
mere hanging. We have seen (pp. 221-3) now "half- 
hanged Smith " was brought back to life a life which, 
thus prolonged, did indeed prove useful to the State. 
But awkward questions arose as to the proper way of 
dealing with such cases : the mob, indeed the public, 
and the legal experts took different views. Moreover, 
a new art was arising, based on these cases of recovery. 
Bronchotomy, as applied to victims of the scaffold, did 
not, for all I have been able to find, become recognised 
as a branch of the healing art till some years later than 
1760. But so early as 1733, Mr. Chovet had made such 


progress in "preventing the fatal consequences of the 
Halter" that the State may well have trembled. Here 
was a new development of smuggling. On the whole it 
seems safer to conclude that the " fall " was adopted as 
a means of bringing to naught these ingenious attempts 
to rob the State of its due. ' 

1767. Mrs. Brownrigg, the wife of James Brownrigg, 
at one time a domestic servant, was the mother of a 
large family. To support the household Mrs. Brownrigg 
learnt midwifery, and received an appointment as mid- 
wife to women in the workhouse of St. Dunstan's-in- 
the-West. She had the character of being skilful and 
humane : she was reputed to be a faithful wife and an 
affectionate mother. About 1763 Brownrigg took a 
house in Fetter Lane, and in February, 1765, Mrs. 
Brownrigg took as apprentice a poor girl of the precinct 
of Whitefriars : a little later another girl was bound 
apprentice to her by the governors of the Foundling 
Hospital. Mrs. Brownrigg treated these poor girls with 
unimaginable cruelty. She tied them up naked, and 
flogged them with a horse-whip, made her husband 
and son do the same : starved them and gave them 
insufficient clothing. This went on for two years. At 
last the neighbours, constantly hearing groans in the 
Brownriggs' house, watched, and at last caught sight 
of one of the poor creatures in a most deplorable 
condition. Information was given and the girls were 
rescued. But relief came too late to save Mary Clifford, 
who died of the most terrible wounds inflicted on her 
by these monsters. On September 12, father, mother, 
and eldest son were tried for the murder of Mary 
Clifford : only Elizabeth Brownrigg was found guilty. 
She was executed on September 14, her body was 
carried to Surgeons' Hall to be anatomised. Afterwards 
"her skeleton has since been exposed in the niche 
opposite the first door in the Surgeons' Theatre, that 
the heinousness of her cruelty may make the more 


lasting impression on the minds of the spectators." 
The Gentleman's Magazine adds to a full account of 
the story an engraving showing the "Hole" under the 
stairs in which the poor wretches were confined, and 
the kitchen in which one of the girls is shown tied up 
to be flogged. The case made a profound impression 
on the public, and to this day remains the most shocking 
case of its kind on record. 

1767. October 14. William Guest, a teller in the Bank 
of England, was convicted of filing guineas. Guest's 
crime was high treason : he was therefore drawn to the 
gallows in a sledge. " After the three others were tied 
up, he got into the cart : he was not tied up immediately, 
but was indulged to pray upon his knees, attended by 
the ordinary, and another clergyman of the Church of 
England. He joined in prayers with the clergymen 
with the greatest devotion, and his whole deportment 
was so pious, grave, manly, and solemn as to draw 
tears from the greatest part of the spectators." There 
exists a print showing Guest in the sledge on the way 
to Tyburn. 

1768. March 23. James Gibson, attorney-at-law, 
convicted of forgery, and Benjamin Payne, footpad, 
were executed at Tyburn. For a long time, as has 
been shown, the " respectability " of criminals had been 
recognised by permitting them to be carried to their 
doom in a mourning coach, instead of in the ordinary 
cart. To Gibson, as the erring member of an honoured 
profession, this indulgence was granted. Gibson desired 
that the footpad might be allowed to accompany him 
in the coach. There is something pathetic in this 
practical recognition of the truth that death makes all 
men equal. The authorities might well have granted 
the request, but it was refused. 

1769. The manufacture of silk fabrics was highly 
protected, but protection did not bring prosperity to 
the workers. The condition of the weavers of Bethnal 

Green and Spitalfields was deplorable, leading to constant 
disturbances. The destruction of looms, and the cut- 
ting of woven silk capital offences became frequent. 

On December 20 three men were executed at Tyburn 
for destroying silk-looms. Their execution had been 
preceded on the 6th by that of two others, hanged at 
Bethnal Green for cutting woven silk. In connection 
with this execution at Bethnal Green a grave question 
arose. The sentence passed on the condemned men 
was that they should be taken from the prison to the 
usual place of execution, but the Recorder's warrant 
for the execution directed they should be hanged at the 
most convenient place near Bethnal Green church. 
The variation of place was directed by the King. A 
long correspondence ensued between the Sheriffs and 
the Secretary of State. The point raised was whether 
the King had power thus to vary the sentence. The 
condemned men were respited in order that the opinion 
of the judges might be taken. It was unanimous that 
the King had the power of fixing the place of execution, 
and the men were executed at Bethnal Green, as directed. 
There was great apprehension of tumult, and not without 
cause, for in the Gentleman's Magazine we read : " The 
mob on this occasion behaved outrageously, insulted 
the Sheriffs, pulled up the gallows, broke the windows, 
destroyed the furniture, and committed other outrages 
in the house of Lewis Chauvette, Esq., in Spitalfields." 
The mob dispersed only on being threatened with 
military execution. 

It was observed that when the Recorder next passed 
sentence of death, he omitted direction as to the place 
of execution. 

1771. On October 16, Mary Jones was executed at 
Tyburn for stealing from a draper's shop on Ludgate 
Hill some pieces of worked muslin. The annals of 
Tyburn contain the record of no more poignant tragedy 
than this. It is a story so piteous that, once heard, it 


ever after haunts the memory. Mary Jones was a young 
woman whose age is variously given as nineteen and 
twenty-six : all accounts tell of her great beauty. She 
was married, lived in good credit, and wanted for nothing 
till her husband was carried off by a press-gang. Then 
she fell into great straits, having neither a bed to lie on, 
nor food to give to her two young children, who were 
almost naked. On her trial her defence was simple : 
" I have been a very honest woman in my lifetime. I 
have two children : I work very hard to maintain my 
two children since my husband was pressed." Her 
beauty and her poverty prove Mary's averment that she 
had been a very honest woman. But when the jury 
gave in a verdict of guilty, Mary cursed judge and jury 
for a lot of " old fogrums." It was really for this that 
she died on the gallows. The theft had not been 
completed : she was arrested in the shop and gave up 
the goods. It was her first offence. Her neighbours in 
Red Lion street, Whitechapel, presented a petition in 
her behalf, but there was against her the record of her 
"indecent behaviour." One of the two children was 
at her breast when she set out in the cart on the journey 
from Newgate to Tyburn. Her petulance had gone : 
" she met death with amazing fortitude." 

So perished Mary Jones, whose husband had been 
torn from her side, who was now, in her turn, torn 
from her helpless babes. Poor Mary Jones ! Beautiful 
Mary Jones, with your great crown of auburn hair ! Our 
hearts are wrung as we seem to see you setting out on 
your last journey in this world, with your little one at 
your breast. Your last prayer was for your babes, your 
last thoughts of your husband, to whom, as honest as 
beautiful, you remained true in spite of the temptation to 
stay your children's hungry cries with bread earned by 
your shame. 

History does not tell us more. Did the husband 
return from fighting the battles of his country or rather 


of its politicians to find that his true wife had perished 
on the gallows ? Better far that he should have met 
his death in some glorious victory or inglorious defeat, 
reddening with his blood some distant sea. And the little 
ones, robbed by the cruel State of father and mother 
what became of them ? These are things it behoves us 
to know, for they are one side of glory, of imperialism. 
How many Mary Joneses, how many broken hearts and 
ruined lives are behind the naval victories celebrated 
by painting, by song, by sculptured tombs in temples 
dedicated to the "Prince of Peace ? Or are we to dry 
our tears, comforting ourselves with the reflection that 
" the suffering is irrelevant " ? 

Mary Jones did not die wholly in vain. Six years 
later, after "John the Painter " had been hanged on 
a gallows sixty feet high, for setting fire to the rope- 
house in Portsmouth Dockyard, ingenuity discovered a 
chance of adding one more capital offence to the two 
hundred or so already on the Statute-book. A Bill 
was promoted for making it a hanging matter to set 
fire to private dockyards. Sir William Meredith, a 
" faddist " of his day, inveighed against the Bill and 
the atrocious cruelty of the laws. He cited the case 
of Mary Jones. " I do not believe," he said, " that a 
fouler murder was ever committed against law, than the 
murder of this woman by law." x A girl of fourteen 
had lately been sentenced to be burnt for hiding, at 
her master's bidding, some white-washed farthings. The 
faggots had been laid, the cart was setting out, when 
a reprieve, granted at the instance of the Lord Mayor, 
saved this poor child from the flames. "Good God, 
Sir," he cried, "are we taught to execrate the fires of 
Smithfield, and are we lighting them now to burn a 

1 In 1810 the Archbishop of Canterbury and six Bishops voted 
against Romilly's Bill to abolish capital punishment for stealing 
privately in a shop to the value of five shillings ("Life of 
Romilly," ii. 130). 



poor harmless child, for hiding a white-washed 
farthing ? " This speech, delivered in Parliament, was 
printed by the Society for the Diffusion of Knowledge 
upon the Punishment of Death, founded by Basil 
Montague in 1808, and was also printed separately in 
several editions down to 1833. 

1771. January i. John Clark and John Joseph 
Defoe executed at Tyburn, for robbery of a gold 
watch and money. Defoe was said to be a grand- 
son of the immortal author of " Robinson Crusoe." 

1773. September 13. Mrs. Herring was thus executed 
for murdering her husband : 

She was placed on a stool something more than 
two feet high, and, a chain being placed under her 
arms, the rope round her neck was made fast to two 
spikes, which, being driven through a post against 
which she stood, when her devotions were ended, 
the stool was taken from under her, and she was 
soon strangled. When she had hung about fifteen 
minutes, the rope was burnt, and she sunk till the 
chain supported her, forcing her hands up to a level 
with her face, and the flame being furious, she was 
soon consumed. The crowd was so immensely great 
that it was a long time before the faggots could be 
placed for the execution. 

1773. October 27. The two sheriffs and under- 
sheriff attended the execution of five malefactors on 
horseback, and two persons clothed in black walked all 
the way before the prisoners to the place of execution, 
where they were allowed an hour and a half in their 
devotions, a circumstance not remembered for a great 
many years past. 

A vivid picture of the manners of the times is 
given in these two extracts from the Gentleman's Maga- 
zine of 1774. 

The first passage shows the extraordinary prevalence 
of highway robbery, which at this time seems to 


have become a recognised form of out-door sport 
among young men : 

"As lord Berkeley was passing over Hounslow Heath 
in the dusk of the evening [of November n] in his 
post-chaise, the driver was called to stop by a young 
fellow, genteelly dressed and mounted, but the driver 
not readily obeying the summons, the fellow discharged 
his pistol at the chaise, which lord Berkeley returned, 
and, in one instant, a servant came up, and shot the 
fellow dead. By means of the horse, which he had 
that morning hired, he was traced, and his lodgings 
in Mercer-street, Long-Acre, discovered ; where Sir 
John Fielding's men were scarce entered, when a 
youth, booted and spurred, came to enquire for 
the deceased by the name of Evan Jones. This 
youth, upon examination, proved to be an accomplice, 
and impeached two other young men belonging to the 
same gang, one of whom was clerk to a laceman in 
Bury-street, St. James's, after whom an immediate 
search being made, he was traced along the road to 
Portsmouth, and, at three in the morning, was sur- 
prised in bed at Farnham, and brought back to London, 
by Mr. Bond and other assistants. The other accom- 
plice was also apprehended, and all three were carried 
before Sir John Fielding, when it appeared, that these 
youths, all of good families, had lately committed a 
number of robberies in the neighbourhood of London : 
that their names were Peter Holtum, John Richard 
Sauer, and William Sampson : that Sampson in partic- 
ular, had 50 guineas due to him for wages when he 
was apprehended, and that he had frequently been 
intrusted with effects to the amount of io,ooo/. An 
evening paper says, that there are no less than seven 
of these youths in custody, from 18 to 20 years of 
age, some of whose parents are in easy, some in 
affluent circumstances, all of them overwhelmed with 
sorrow by the vices of their unhappy sons." 


Here is a batch of executions : 

1774. November 30. The six following malefactors, 
were executed at Tyburn, pursuant to their sentence, 
viz., John Coleby and Charles Jones, for breaking into 
the dwelling-house of Lancelot Keat, and stealing 
goods : William Lewis, for publishing a forged draught 
upon Mess. Drummond and Co. for 487. i8s. : John 
Rann, alias Sixteen-string Jack, for robbing the rev. 
Dr. Bell, near Gunnerbury-lane : and William Lane 
and Samuel Trotman, for robbing the Knightsbridge 

Lewis, the unhappy sufferer for forgery, was a most 
ingenious copyist, and could counterfeit copper-plate 
writing to astonishing exactness. He was far from an 
abandoned character, and died an example of penitence, 
which, in some measure, atoned for the injury he had 
done the public. He composed a prayer in the cells, 
which does credit to his understanding. 

The friends of Coleby and Jones, in passing the 
house of Mr. Keat, their prosecutor, in order to the 
interment of their bodies, committed the most outra- 
geous acts of violence that have been known in any 
civilised country, by breaking the windows, attempting 
to set the house on fire, and threatening the life of Mr. 

1776. January 17. Robert and Daniel Perreau exe- 
cuted at Tyburn. 

They were twin brothers, natives of St. Kitts. Robert 
was an apothecary " in high practice " in Golden Square, 
then a fashionable quarter. Daniel lived " a genteel life " 
with his mistress, Mrs. Rudd. Robert Perreau sought 
a loan of Drummonds, the bankers, on bonds, after- 
wards found to be forged. The evidence made it 
probable that the actual forgery was by Mrs. Rudd, 
but that all three were acting in concert. The brothers 
were both found guilty on their trials, but a strong 
feeling existed that the sentence on Robert was harsh. 


A petition to commute the sentence to one of trans- 
portation was presented on behalf of seventy-eight 
"capital Bankers and Merchants" of the City. The 
king was, however, obdurate, and after the acquittal of 
Mrs. Rudd let the law take its course. The execution 
was witnessed by 30,000 persons. The brothers, born 
together, were not divided in death. They fell from 
the cart with their four hands clasped together. 

Mr. Bleackley has told the story at length in "Some 
Distinguished Victims of the Scaffold," 1905. 

1777. June 27. Execution of Dr. Dodd. 

William Dodd, born in 1729, was the popular preacher 
of his day. He came, a young man of 21, from Cam- 
bridge to London in 1750. He hesitated between 
adopting literature as a profession and the Church, but 
took orders in 1751. He still dabbled in literature, and is 
said to have been the author of a work, "The Sisters," 
which gave no very favourable idea of the purity of 
his mind. In 1758 he became chaplain of the Magdalen 
Hospital, and fine ladies came to hear his sermons " in 
the French style." In 1763 he was made one of the 
king's chaplains, an appointment he lost when, in 
1774, Mrs. Dodd wrote to the wife of the Lord 
Chancellor, offering a bribe for the living of St. George, 
Hanover Square. Dodd got into debt : he had to sell 
a proprietary chapel in which he had sunk money : 
it is said that he even " descended so low as to 
become the editor of a newspaper." He fell still 
lower : in his need he forged the signature of his 
patron, Lord Chesterfield, to a bond for .4,200. The 
forgery was discovered, and warrants were issued 
against Dodd and his broker. Dodd made partial resti- 
tution, offered security for the remainder, and the 
affair might have been settled had not the Lord 
Mayor, who had issued the warrants, refused to let 
the case be hushed up. Dodd was tried on February 
22, 1766. The evidence was irresistible. Only a legal 


point stood in the way of sentence. This point was 
decided adversely to Dodd, and on May 26 sentence 
of death was passed. "They will never hang me," 
said Dodd, and indeed everything possible was done to 
save him. "The exertions made to save him were 
perhaps beyond example in any country. The news- 
papers were filled with letters and paragraphs in his 
favour. Individuals of all ranks and degrees exerted 
themselves in his behalf : parish officers went from 
house to house to procure subscriptions to a petition 
to the king, and this petition, which, with the names, 
filled twenty-three sheets of parchment, was actually 
presented. The Lord Mayor and Common Council went 
in a body to St. James's, to solicit mercy for him, 
but all this availed nothing ; government were re- 
solved to make an example of him." Foremost 
among those who pleaded for Dodd was Dr. Johnson. 
There was nothing in common between the shallow 
flippancy of Dodd, and the great, rough, earnest 
nature of Johnson ; being once asked whether Dodd's 
sermons were not addressed to the passions, "They 
were nothing, Sir," growled the lexicographer, " be 
they addressed to what they may." But to misery 
Johnson's heart was more tender than a woman's ; 
he was agitated when application was made to him 
on behalf of Dodd ; he paced up and down the room, 
and promised to do what he could. He wrote the 
speech delivered by Dodd before the passing of the 
sentence and more than one petition in his behalf. 

All was in vain : " If I pardon Dodd, I shall have 
murdered the Perreaus." So the king is reported to 
have said and, indeed, although Dodd's partisans fell 
foul of court and jury, it is not easy to see how, if 
Dodd had been pardoned, the punishment of death for 
forgery could ever after have been inflicted. There is a 
pathetic touch in the fact that, many years before his 
fall, Dodd preached a sermon, afterwards printed, 


deprecating the frequency of capital punishment. In 
"Prison Thoughts" he foretold the abolition of the pro- 
cession to Tyburn, or perhaps of public executions : 

"... yes, the day 
I joy in the idea will arrive 
When Britons philanthropic shall reject 
The cruel custom, to the sufferer cruel, 
Useless and baneful to the gaping crowd ! " 

On June 27 the fatal procession set out from New- 
gate. On this occasion " there was perhaps the greatest 
concourse of people ever drawn together by a like 
spectacle." " Just before the parties were turned off 
Dr. Dodd whispered to the executioner. What he said 
cannot be known ; but it was observed that the man 
had no sooner driven away the cart, than he ran imme- 
diately under the gibbet, and took hold of the doctor's 
legs, as if to steady the body." Another account says 
that the executioner, gained over by Dodd's friends, 
had arranged the knot in a particular manner, and 
whispered to him as the cart drew off, " You must not 
move an inch ! " When cut down the body was con- 
veyed to the house of an undertaker in Goodge Street, 
where a hot bath was in readiness. Under the direction 
of Pott, a celebrated surgeon of the day, every effort was 
made to restore animation. But in vain. The crowd 
was so enormous that there had been great delay in 
the transport of the body, and this was fatal. Never- 
theless, there were not wanting people who believed 
that Dodd had been resuscitated and carried abroad. 

1779. April 19. The Rev. James Hackman executed 
at Tyburn for the murder of Miss Martha Ray. 

As the spectators were leaving the performance of 
" Love in a Village " at Drury Lane, on the night of 
April 7, a gentleman, seeing Miss Ray, with whom 
he had some little acquaintance, in difficulty in getting 
to her coach, stept forward a.nd offered his assistance, 


When close to the coach he heard the report of a pistol, 
and felt the lady fall. For a moment he thought that 
she had fallen in fright at the report, but on stooping 
down, to help her to rise, he found his hands covered 
with blood. With the aid of a light-boy, he got the 
lady into the Shakespeare tavern. She was dead. 
The murdered woman was Miss Martha Ray, the mis- 
tress of Lord Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty ; 
her murderer the Rev. Mr. Hackman. 

Hackman was born in 1752. He was apprenticed to 
a mercer, but, disliking the business, his friends bought 
for him a commission in a foot regiment. While with 
a recruiting party at Huntingdon, he was invited to the 
country house of Lord Sandwich, and fell violently in 
love with the Earl's mistress-. In 1776 he left the army, 
took orders, and in 1779 was presented to the living of 
Wiverton, in Norfolk. It is doubtful whether he ever 
officiated there. He had not been able to forget 
Martha Ray. He continued his attentions, and offered 
her marriage. On the fatal day, having written a letter 
to a friend, announcing his intention to destroy himself, 
he went to the theatre armed with two pistols. After dis- 
charging one at the lady, he shot himself and fell at the 
lady's feet, beating his head with the butt-end of a pistol 
and calling on the bystanders to kill him. On his trial 
his only defence was that a momentary frenzy over- 
came him. The letter contained nothing to indicate 
an intention to kill Miss Ray. He was executed on 
April 19. 

Boswell records a stormy discussion between Dr. 
Johnson and Mr. Beauclerk on the subject of the 
murder. Did the fact that Hackman carried two 
pistols indicate an intention to kill Miss Ray as well as 
himself ? Johnson held that it did ; Beauclerk main- 
tained the contrary, citing the case of a man inordi- 
nately fond of muffins, which disagreed with him. 
Determined to enjoy a last repast, he ate his muffins 

and then shot himself. He had ready two pistols for 
the purpose. As too often happens, neither disputant 
could convince the other (ed. Hill, iii. 383-5). 

Here is a portion of a Grub Street ballad on the 
tragedy : 

A Sandwich favourite was this fair, 

And her he dearly loved : 
By whom six children had, we hear : 

This story fatal proved. 

A clergyman, O wicked one, 

In Covent Garden shot her : 
No time to cry upon her God, 

Its hop'd he's not forgot her. 

Martha Ray bore several children to the Earl. One of 
them, Basil Montagu, is in our days remembered, if at 
all, by a savage snarl of Carlyle at the man and his 
parentage ("Reminiscences," i. 224), "considerably a 
humbug if you probed too strictly." Basil has already 
been mentioned in this book as the founder of the 
Society for the Diffusion of Knowledge upon the 
Punishment of Death. By his numerous writings on 
this subject he did perhaps more than any other man to 
bring home to the public the frightful cruelty of our 
criminal law. He may at least be credited with sin- 
cerity in this matter. On one occasion, in 1801, he 
posted through the night to Huntingdon, arriving with 
a respite just in time to save the lives of two men. 

Lord Sandwich gave to the world a thing and its 
name. He was an inveterate gambler, and, in order 
that he might continue this diversion uninterruptedly, 
he caused to be served to him thin slices of meat placed 
between bread. Hence the "sandwich," known to all 
civilised men. 

1779. August 25. Four malefactors were carried to 
Tyburn for execution, and had been tied up for near 
twenty minutes when a report was spread that a reprieve 


was come to Newgate for one of them. They were all 
untied and left in the cart while one of the sheriffs went 
to Lord Weymouth to learn the truth. No reprieve 
having been granted, the execution took place at near 
one o'clock. 

1779. October 27. Isabella Condon, condemned for 
coining, was at Tyburn first strangled, and then burnt. 

1780. April 12. A man was executed at Tyburn for 
robbing the house of Jeremiah Bentham. This was the 
father of Jeremy Bentham. One wonders whether this 
execution directed his thoughts to the question of capital 

1781. July 27. Francis Henry de la Motte, executed 
at Tyburn for giving to the French Government informa- 
tion as to the movement of British ships. The sentence 
was in the usual form for high treason, that he should be 
hanged " but not till you are dead," but he was allowed 
to hang for nearly an hour. The head was severed from 
the body, four incisions made in the body, and part of 
the entrails thrown into a fire. Then the body was 
delivered to an undertaker, and was buried in St. Pancras 

1783. August 29. William Wynne Ryland executed 
at Tyburn for forgery. Ryland was an engraver of repute 
in the manner of Bartolozzi. He is the subject of a 
careful study, perhaps too sympathetic, by Mr. Bleackley, 
in his " Some Distinguished Victims of the Scaffold," 

1783. November 7. On this day took place the last 
execution at Tyburn. The occasion requires us to give 
in full the account, not otherwise particularly interesting. 
It is quoted from the Gentleman's Magazine : 

This morning was executed at Tyburn, John Austin, 
convicted the preceding Saturday of robbing John 
Spicer, and cutting and wounding him in a cruel manner. 
From Newgate to Tyburn he behaved with great com- 
posure. While the halter was tying, his whole frame 


appeared to be violently convulsed. The Ordinary 
having retired, he addressed himself to the populace : 
"Good people, I request your prayers for the salvation 
of my departing soul : let my example teach you to shun 
the bad ways I have followed : keep good company, and 
mind the word of God." The cap being drawn over his 
face, he raised his hands and cried, " Lord have mercy 
on me : Jesus look down with pity on me : Christ have 
mercy on my poor soul !" and, while uttering these 
words, the cart was driven away. The noose of the 
halter having slipped to the back part of his neck, it was 
longer than usual before he was dead. 

The transference of executions to Newgate involved 
the suppression of the processions which for six hundred 
years had been a feature of the city's life. The change 
did not receive the approval of Dr. Johnson. "The age," 
he said, " is running mad after innovation : all the busi- 
ness of the world is to be done in a new way : Tyburn 
itself is not safe from the fury of innovation ! " It having 
been argued that this was an improvement " No, Sir 
(said he eagerly), it is not an improvement : they object 
that the old method drew together a number of spectators. 
Sir, executions are intended to draw spectators. If they 
do not draw spectators, they don't answer their purpose. 
The old method was most satisfactory to all parties : the 
public was gratified by a procession : the criminal was 
supported by it. Why is all this to be swept away ? " 

From the " moral lesson " point of view Dr. Johnson 
was quite right. But the procession was abolished simply 
because the best quarter of the town had extended to 

On December 9, 1783, the first executions took place 
in front of Newgate prison, on the new gallows, with a 
" drop." The illustration shows 



The ten persons seem to fill the stage, but it would be 
doing an injustice to the designer of this national monu- 
ment to assume that he had not taken into account the 
possible demands of the State. 

On February 2, 1785, twenty men swung in a batch in 
front of the debtors' door. Of these, five FIVE were 
hanged for assaulting a man and robbing him of two 
glass drops, set in metal, value $d. ; a one-inch rule, 
value 2d. ; two papers of nails, value id. ; one knife, 
value id. ; two shillings, and a counterfeit half-penny. 

Tyburn gallows was in full vigour when the claims of 
a " genteel " neighbourhood demanded its abolition. In 
the last year of its existence one hundred and eight per- 
sons were condemned to death at the Old Bailey sessions 
fifty-eight in a single sessions. Most of the condemned 
were reprieved : the crimes of these must have been light, 
for John Kelly was actually hanged for robbing another 
of sixpence-farthing. 

Within view of the accursed spot Catholics have insti- 
tuted an Oratory of the English Martyrs. It is well : the 
world cannot afford to forget the example of those who, 
whether at Tyburn or Smithfield, gladly faced the most 
horrible of deaths rather than be false to themselves. 

But in honouring them, let us not forget the thousands 
of martyrs for whom no one has claimed the crown of 
martyrdom the martyrs to ferocious laws, not seldom 
put in force against the innocent, the martyrs to cruel 
injustice, to iniquitous social conditions. Thousands 
have had the life choked out of them at Tyburn on whom 
pity might well have dropped a pardoning tear : to whom 
compassion might well have stretched out a helping 

If not a sparrow falls unheeded, these obscure martyrs 
may not have died in vain. 


ABBEY lands, 157 

ab Ulmis, John, an imported 

preacher, 142 
a Lasco, John, an imported 

preacher, 142 
^Ethelstan, laws of, 19, 56 
Alfred, laws of, 55 
Aliens Act of 1905 anticipated, 

Amos, Andrew, his "Great Oyer 

of Poisoning," 178, 181 

Commission to try, 158 

Latimer jeers at their con- 
stancy, 158 

burnt, 177 
Anglo-Saxon penal legislation, 


Arians burnt, 177 
Ascham, Roger, on destruction 

of Yeomanry, 140 
Assassination Plot, 215-16 

strange sequel to, 216-19 
Athol, Earl of, hanged on a 
high gallows, 101 

BACON, FRANCIS, in trial of 

Robert Carr, 181, 22 note 
Bagshot Heath, gibbet on, 211 
Ball, John, and revolt of the 

peasants, 106 
Barclay, Alexander, "Ship of 

Fools," iv., 140 note 
Barkworth, Mark, manner of 

his death, 173 
Barton, Elizabeth, "The Holy 

Maid of Kent," 133 
Bassompierre, Marechal de, 66 
Bedloe, William, perjurer, dies, 


Beheading, 31-4 

Bentham, Jeremy, 78 
his father robbed, 266 

Bernardi, Major John 
imprisoned without trial for 

forty years, 216 
Dr. Johnson on, 217 
dies in prison, 218 

Bethnal Green 
weavers of, riotous, 254-55 
two weavers hanged near 

church, 255 

constitutional question arises, 

a bar to benefit of clergy, 


old meaning of word, 129 
provisions as to, 131-32 
bigamist put on footing of 
others, 132 

Black Death, 49 

Blake, Admiral, his body re- 
moved, 192 

Bleackley, Horace 
tells story of the Perreaus, 

of W. W. Ryland, 266 

"Blood-Bowl House" 
in Hanging-Sword Alley, 241 
figures in print by Hogarth, 

Boiling to death, see Execu- 

Boleyn, Anne, 132-33 

Bones discovered at corner of 
Edgware Road, 53 

Borough Customs, 19-20 

Bosgrave, James, condemned 
to death, 160-61 



Bow Church, 80-1, 97-8 

remarkable case, 109 

at Charing Cross, 190 

And see Treason 
Boy martyr 

of Lincoln, 91-4 

of Norwich, 91 
Brabant, merchants of, robbed, 

Bradshaw, John, his dead body 

hanged on Tyburn gallows, 

Breaking on the wheel 

not in use in England, 23-4 

adoption recommended, 246 
Breaute, Fawkes de, hangs 

Constantine Fitz-Athulf 85-6 
Brembre, Nicholas, his mis- 
deeds and fate, 107 
Brentford, gallows at, 15 
Brinklow Henry, on rapacity 

of landlords, 139 
Briton, Ralph 

a priest, imprisoned on false 
accusation, 87 

released, 87-8 
Bronchotomy, 225, 252 , 
Brownrigg, Mrs., her cruelty to 

apprentices, 253-54 
Buckingham, George Villiers, 
Duke of, 181 note 

assassinated by Felton, 182 
Bucquinte, Andrew, a burglar, 

Buffer, Peter de, a robber, 

Bunyan "Pilgrim's Progress," 

Burgh, Hubert de, justiciar, 

Burghley, Lord 

defends use of torture, 35-6, 
161-62, 162-63 and note 

pamphlets ascribed to, 35, 

161, 163, 164, note 
Burial of persons executed 

in Pardon churchyard, 49- 

refused in St. Sepulchre's, 

corpses thrown into pits, 51, 

Burnet, Dr. Gilbert, 204, 207 

in hand 130-31 
in cheek enacted in 1699, 

repealed in 1706, 221 
of women, 4, 105, 207, 230, 

235-36, 257 
Bury St. Edmund's 
boy-martyr of, 91 
monastery of, 137 
Butler, Samuel 
mentions Dun, the hangman, 

Ode on Duval, 197-98 

CAMDEN, WILLIAM, historian 
" Britannia," 23 note, 65 
" History of Elizabeth " 
quoted 161, 164 note, 168, 

Cameron, Dr. Archibald 
executed long after rebellion, 

behaviour, and manner of 

death, 249 
"Can I not do as I like with 

my own?" 139 and note 
Canterbury, Archbishop of, 
votes against repeal of Shop- 
lifting Act, 257 note 
Capital offences, number of, 6, 

Capital punishment 

abolished by William the 
Conqueror, 56 

re-instituted by Henry I., 56 
Cardan, Jerome, misquoted by 

Harrison, 142-43 
Carlyle, Thomas, on Basil 

Montague, 265 

Carr, Robert, Viscount Roches- 
ter and Earl of Somerset 

friendship with Overbury, 

makes conquest of Countess 
of Essex, 179 

marries her after her divorce, 
1 80 

refuses to plead guilty to 
charge of murdering Over- 
bury, i 80-8 i 

condemned and pardoned, 

in possession of some secret, 
i 80-8 i 



Carr, Robert, Viscount Roches- 
ter and Earl of Somerset 

Was he guilty ? 180 
means devised to silence 

him, 181 

Carter, William, drawn and 
hanged for printing a book, 
Catur, William, slain in single 

combat, 115 
Caursins, rivals of the Jews as 

money-lenders, 94 
" Celtic fringe," 100 note 
Chains and manacles, ordered 
to be brought to Tower, 99 
Challoner, Dr. Richard, his- 
torian, quoted, 52, 167, 176, 
177, 182, 185 
Charing Cross 
Station on site of Hungerford 

House, 125 
gallows set up at, 152 and 


Pillory at, 202 
Charles I. 

and Henrietta Maria, 65-6 
executions under, 767 
conflict with Parliament as 
to execution of priests, 184, 

Charles II. 

his court almost pure com- 
pared with that of Tames 
I., 178 

proclamations, 194-5 
supposed design to assassi- 
nate, 200 
unjustly blamed for Popish 

Plot executions, 204-5 
and Rye House Plot, 205 
of London, 49, 133 

Prior of, 134 
of Beau vale, 134 
of Axholmes, 134 
Priors of Beauvale and Ax- 
holme, 134 
execution of the three Priors, 

three Monks of London 

House executed, 136 
Home, William, a lay brother 
of, executed, 147 


his Prioress, 7 

her story, 91 
Chauncy, Maurice, his account 

of the martyrdom of the 

Carthusians, 133-36 
Chelsea, gallows at, 15 
Chidley, Samuel, 79 

writes against " over-much 

justice," 186-87 
Children burnt or hanged, 78, 

246, 257-58 
Chiltern Hundreds 

origin of stewardship of, 8-9 

forests, ii 
" Christ's poor," 141 

become " paupers," 142 
Church, no church that erreth 

not, 158 note 
Churches robbed, 118 
Ciltria, see Chiltern 
Clergy, benefit of 

right to claim barred by 
bigamy, 127 

could be claimed by mur- 
derer till 1531, 129 

what it was, 129, 130-31 

extended in 1351-52 to all 
clerks, 129, 130 

constantly narrowed, 131 

in 1726, 131 

abolished in 1827, 131 
Clitherow, Margaret, manner 

of her death, 39 
Cobbett, William 

on " Histories of England," 4 

on " rooks and daws," 5 

on Waverley Abbey, 15 note 
Cobham, Dame Eleanor, Du- 
chess of Gloucester, 113- 


her penance, 114-15 
Cock tavern in Cheapside, 
murder of landlord, 105, in 
debased state of, 214 
men in royal dockyards paid 

in clipped money, 215 

became a common offence, 

214, 219, 220 
legislation as to coin, 214- 


in Newgate prison, 221 



Coke, Lord Chief Justice 
on punishment for high trea- 
son, 32, 33 note 
on torture, 36 
busy in discovery of murder 

of Overbury, 181 note 
Collier, Jeremy 

outlawed for absolving 

Friend and Perkins, 216 
Common Prayer, Book of 
Commission to try those who 

reject, 158 

death to write against, 177 
Commonwealth, executions 

under, 77, 187-88 

refuses to pay illegal tax, 186 

Cromwell imprisons him, 186 

Cornelius, John, story of his 

head, 51-2 

Cornishmen, revolt of, 121-22 
Cotell, John, murdered by his 
wife, afterwards Lady Hun- 

gerford, 126-27 

multiplicity of, 16-19 
conflicts between, 16-19 
petty, in France, 57 note 
Cranmer, Thomas 
pronounces divorce of Cathe- 
rine, 132, 

of Anne Boleyn, 136-37 

extraordinary accumulation 

of, 213 
Criminal begged of the King by 

18 maids, 208 
Cromwell, Oliver 
bones found (?), 53 
guilty of the blood of South - 

worth, 185 

Why has he a statue ? 185-86 
his military despotism, 186, 

187 and note 
throws into prison Cony, and 

his counsel, 186 
removes judge from bench, 


greatest recorded number of 
executions at one time dur- 
ing Commonwealth, 187- 

arrests 500 persons, 187 note 
and Don Pantaleon Sa, 189 

Cromwell, Oliver (contd.} 
his last executions, 190 
his body hanged on Tyburn 

gallows, 190-92 
legends on this subject, 


body of his mother and of 
others removed from West- 
minster Abbey, 192 
his mother's body removed, 


Cromwell, Thomas, calls Ty- 
burn " Thyf bourne," 137 
Cunningham, Peter, " Hand- 
book of London," 45, 46, 47, 
64 note 


pilloried and whipped, 202 
killed by Francis, 202 

Daniel, P. A., on references to 
Triple Tree, 64 

David, Prince of Wales, execu- 
tion of, 31 

David II., of Scotland, 104 

David III., of Wales, head ex- 
posed on Tower of London, 


Penalty of, for relieving a 

priest, 1 66 

for being reconciled to Ro- 
man Church, 165-66 
" Decay of England," 141 and 


Defoe, Daniel, 67 
biographer of Jack Sheppard, 


his grandson, 258 
Derrick, a kind of crane, said to 
be named after a hangman, 


Dickens, Charles 
against public executions, 

Dennis, the hangman in Bar- 

naby Rudge, 48 
in Hungerford Street, 126 
Hanging-Sword Alley, 242 
Dictionary of National Bio- 
graphy, 44 
Disembowelling, see High Trea- 




enacted, to add terror to 
death-sentence, 247 

of Earl Ferrers, 251 

of Mrs. Brownrigg, 253-54 
Dodd, Dr, 261-63 

intercession of Dr. Johnson, 

Dow, Master Robert, makes 

provision for tolling bell of 

St. Sepulchre's, 175-76 
" Drawing " 

what it was, 27 

several kinds of, 27-30 

simple dragging to gallows, 

on an ox-hide, 28, 29 

on a hurdle, 29 

on a sledge, 29 note 

dragging to death, 29-30 

dragging to pieces, 30 
" Drop" 

introduced at execution of 
Earl Ferrers, 251 

a feature of the gallows at 
Newgate, 251 

its object, 252-53 

" On Tyburn," 74 

on Jack Ketch, 46 
Ducket, Laurence, story of, 

Dunning, a noted robber, n, 


district around, infested by 

robbers, 17 
Priory, 17-18 
Duval, Claude 
a famous highwayman, 194, 

William -Pope's " Memoirs," 

not to be taken too 

seriously, 197 

ECCLESFORD, gallows at, 16 

ought not to shed blood, 13 

but have gallows, 13 

power to stay execution, 13 
Edgar, King, 13 
Edward I., n, 14, 16, 18, 24 

Year Book of, 38 
Edward II., 101 

Edward III., 101, 104 

Edward IV., 119 

Edward VI., 77, 137, 139, 142, 

150, 153 

Slave Act of, 140 
revolt of peasants, 150-51 
death of, 151 
Effigy to be hanged, 18 
Elizabeth, Queen, 140, 155 
executions under, 76-7 
penal laws of, 164 and note 
last of her victims, 175 
and the Pope, 156 
torture in constant use 

under, 35-6, 161-62 
does not believe in charges 
on which priests were exe- 
cuted, 161 
symbol of justice among 

Normans, 57 
famous elm cut down, 57 
" Judges under the elm-tree," 


" Elms, The," 81, 85, 86 note 
of Tyburn, 57, 60 and note 
of Smithfield, 57, 60 and note 
of Westminster Abbey, 57-8 
of Covent Garden, 58 
of Canterbury, 58 
of Westbourne, 58 
confusion between Tyburn 

and Smithfield, 58-9 
new gallows ordered for, 60 
first indication of site of, 


Longbeard executed here, 81 
Mortimer erroneously said 

to have been the first, 10-? 

and note 
Constantine, Fitz-Athulf, 85, 

86 and note 
and execution of Turberville, 


of Wallace, 100 
Elms Lane (now Mews), Bays- 
water, 58 
part of the punishment for 

high treason, 32 
but not always forming part 

of sentence, 32, 33 
Essex (Robert Devereux) Earl 
of, 168, 170-71, 174 



Essex (Robert Devereux), Earl 
of Essex (son of the fore- 
going), marries Frances 
Howard, and is divorced, 
various ways of, 19-26 
by breaking neck, 19 
by throwing into sea, 19 
by burial alive, 19-20 
must be carried out by pro- 
secutor, 20 
by tying to a stake at low 

water, 20 

by throwing into a well, 20 
by " infalistation," 20 
by throwing into harbour, 20 
by burning, 20 
by boiling, 21, 22 
by hanging alive in chains, 

22, 31 note 

by being built into a sea- 
wall, 22 

by beheading, 23 
by flaying alive, 24-5 
by enclosing within walls, 25 
by crucifixion, 26 
by drawing, i.e., dragging to 

death, 30 

by dragging to pieces. 30 
place of, question arises as to, 


Execution Dock, 03 
Adams, John, 165 
Ainger, Richard, 169-70 
Alfield, Thomas, 164 and 


Alice atte Bowe, 97-8 
Allen, Sir John, 144 
Almond, John, 177 
Anderson (or Richardson), 

William, 175 
ap Gryffydd, Sir Rhys, 132 

and note 

Armstrong, Sir Thomas, 206 
Arundell, Humfrey, 151 
Ashbey, , 150 
Ashton, Col., 190 

, Roger, 167 

Athol, Earl of, 101 
Austin, John, 266-67 
A water, John, 121 
Axtell, Daniel, 190 

Executions (contd.) 
Babington, Arthur, 58 note 
Barkstead, Col., 190 
Barkworth, Mark, 171-74 
Barney, Kenelme, 159 
Barrow, Henry, 167 
Barton, Elizabeth, 133 
Beasley, Richard, 193-94 
Bedell, John, 154 
Bel, , a Suffolk man, 151 
Bell, Arthur, 184 
Benson, , 188 
Bernes, Sir John, 107 
Berry, Henry, 201 
Bery, , 151 
Bestely, , 190 
Bigott, Sir Francis, 144 
Billings, Thomas, 235-36 
Bird, Robert, 147 
Blake, John, 107 
Blount, Sir Thomas, 108, 

mythical details, 109 
"Blueskin" (Joseph Black), 

2 34 

Bocking, Edward, 133 
Bolinbrooke, Roger, 115 
Bolner (or Bulmer), Sir John, 


Bosgrave, Thomas, 52 
Bradford, , 154 
Brembre, Nicholas, 107 
Brian, Alexander, 161-62 
Bridlington, Prior of, 144 
Brocas, Sir Bernard, 108 
Bromholme, Edmund, 147 
Brownrigg, Elizabeth, 253 
Bullaker, Thomas, 184 
Bullocke, Peter, 174 
Campion, Edmund, 160-61 
Carey, Terence, 52 
Carter, William, 162-63 
Charnock, Robert, 215 
Cheyney, Margaret, 144 
Clarendon, Sir Roger, 109 
Clark, John, 258 
Claxton (or Clarkson), James, 


Clifford, Edward, 145 
Clinch, Tom, 240 
Clitherow, Margaret, 39 
Cokerell, Dr., 143, 144 
Coleby, John, 260 
Coleman, Edward, 33, 201 
Collins, , a priest, 145 



Executions (contd.) 
Condom, John, 208 
Condon, Isabella, 266 
Coningsbey, Edmond, 145 
Conspirators of 1236, 86-7 
Constable, William, alias 

Fetherstone, 153 
Constantine, nephew of Con- 

stantine Fitz-Athulf, 86 
Cooke, Laurence, Prior of 

Doncaster, 147 
Copin, a Jew of Lincoln, 


Corbet, Miles, 190 
Corby, Ralph, 184 
Cornelius, John, 52 
Cottam, Thomas, 160-61 
Cotton, Edward, 193-94 
Cranburne, Charles, 216 
Cratwell, the hangman, 145 
Croftes, , a priest, 145 
Cuffe, Henry, 174 
Culpeper, Thomas, 150 
Dacres, Lord (of the South), 


Daniel, John, 154 
David III., loo 
David, Prince of Wales, 32 
David, John, 115 
Davy, Margaret, 22 
Deane, W., 165-66 
de Hereford, Sir Symon, 

Dedike (or Dethyke), John, 


Defoe, John Joseph, 258 
de la Motte, F. H., 266 
de Marisco, William, see 


Derham, Francis, 150 
Dering, John, 133 
Dibdale, Richard, 165 
Dickenson, Margaret (who 

revives), 226 
Dingley, Thomas, and others, 


Dodd, Dr., 263 
Drury, Robert, 176 
Duckett, John, 184 
Duel (who revives), 223-24 
Duval, Claude, 196 
Dyer, Clement, 149 
Egerton, Ralph, 147 
Elks, Henry, 165 

Executions (contd.} 

Ellys, James, a great pick- 
purse, and seven others, 


Elwes, Sir Gervase, 180 
Empson, Thomas, 146-47 
Exeter, Marquis of, 145 
Exmew, Thomas, 136 
Felton, John, 156 

- , John, 182-83 

- , Thomas, 165-66 
Fenn, James, 163 
Fenwick, John, 201 
Fereby, Sir William, 108 
Fernley, , 207 

Filby, William, 162 
Filcock, Roger, 171-74 
Fitz-Athulf, Constantine, 83, 

Fitz- Harris, Edward, 33, 201 
Fitz Osbert (or Osborn), 

William, 79-81 
Flamock, Thomas, 123 
Flower, Richard, 166 
Ford, Thomas, 162 
Fortescue, Sir Adrian, 145 
Fountains, former Abbat of 

J 43-44 

Francis, , 202 
Franklin, James, 180 
Fraser, Simon, 63, 100 
Friend, Sir John, 215 
Frowds, John, 148 
Gahagan, Usher, 242 
Gardner, Garmaine, 150 
Garet, , 144 
Garnet, Henry, 176 
- , Thomas, 176-77 
Gascoign, Richard, 227 
Gaunt, Elizabeth, 206 
Gavan, John, 201 
Gening, Darby, 147 
Genings, Edmund, 166 
Geoffrey, one so called, 

Geoffrey " de Beverley," and 

twelve others, 96 
Gerard, , 188-90 
Gervase (or Jarvis), George, 


Greenwood, John, 167 
Gibbs, Nathaniel, 193 
Gibson, James, 254 
Gold, Henry, 133 



Executions (contd.) 
Golden Farmer, the (William 

Davis), 211 

Goodgrom, William, 112 
Gordon (who revives), 224 
Green, Robert, 201 
Greene, Anne (who revives), 


, Thomas, 160 

Grey Friars, eight, 109 
Grove, John, 32, 201 
Guest, William, 254 
Gunter, William, 165-66 
Gurdemaine, Margery, a 

witch, 114 
Hacker, Francis, 190 
Hackman, Revd. James, 264 
Hackshot, Thomas, 174, 175 
Hall, John, 108 

, John, 159-60 

, John, 227 

Hamerton, Sir Stephen, 144 
Hanse, Everard, 160 
Harcourt, William, 201 
Harford, Henry, 144 
Harington, William, 167 
Harman, Thomas, 147 
Hawes, Nathaniel, 230 
Hawley, Oliver, 208 
Haydock, George, 163 
Hays, Catherine, 235-36 
Heath, Henry, 184 
Hemerford, Thomas, 163 
Herring, Mrs., 258 
Hever, Thomas, 145 
Hewet, Dr., 190 
Hill, Lawrence, 201 
Hinde, James, 194 
Hodson, Sydney, 166 
Holande, , a mariner, 145 
Holford (or Acton), Thomas, 


Holland, Thomas, 184 
Holmes, Thomas, 151 
Hone, William, 205 
Home, Giles, 147 

, William, 147 

Houghton, Father, Prior of 

the Charterhouse, 134-36 
Hughes, John, 132, and note 
Hungerford, Lady Alice 

(Agnes), 124, 127 
Hungerford, Lord, 128 
Inges, William, 127, 128 

Executions (contd.) 

Ireland, William, 32, 201 

Ivetta de Balsham (who re- 
vives), 226, 227 and note 

James, John, 193 

Jervaulx, Abbat of, 143, 144 

johnson, Robert, 160-61 

Johnson, a confederate of 
Sadler, 199 

Jones, Charles, 260 

, Mary, 256 

Jonston, Sir John, 210-11 

Joseph, Michael, 123 

Kelly, John, title page (back), 

Kerbie, Lucas, 160-61 

Keys, Thomas, 215 

King, Edward, 215 

Lacy, Bryan, 166 

Lane, William, 260 

Langhorn, Richard, 32, 201 

Larke, , Parson of Chelsea, 


Larkin, for coining in New- 
gate prison, 221 
Laund, Prior of, no 
Lawrence, Father, Prior of 

Beauvale Charterhouse, 


Lea, Thomas, 171 and note 
Lech, bailiff of Louth, his 

brother Edward, and a 

priest, 150 
Leigh, , 149 
Leigh, Richard, 166 
Lewis, William, 260 
Limerick, Thomas, 193-94 
Line, Anne, 171-74 
Llewllyn, brother of David 

III., 100 
Loisie (Louis), Emanuel, 


Lomeley, George, 144 
" Longbeard," see Fitz 


Lopez, Roderigo, 168 
Lowe, John, 165 
Lowick, Major, 216 
Maclean, James, 244-45 
Mantell, John, 148 
Marsh, William, 62-3 

and 16 of his band, 90-1 
Martin, Richard, 166 
Mason, John, 166 


Executions (contd.) 
Master, Richard, 133 
Mather, Edmund, 159 
Mathewe, William, 127, 128 
Maudelyn, parson, 108 
Maxfield, Thomas, and 

thirteen criminals, 182 
Maynvile, Anthony, 132 
Menstreworth, Sir John, 105 
Menteith, Earl of, 104-5 
Mercer, John, and 23 others, 


Merrick, Sir Gilly, 174 
Messenger, Peter, 193-94 
Middlemore, Humfrey, 136 
Milksop, John, 17 
Mitchell, Anthony, 23 note 
Monmouth, Duke of, 47 
Moore, Hugh, 165-66 
Morgan, Edward, 184 
Morse, Henry, 184 
Mortimer, John, 1 1 1 

, Roger, ,61, 101-3 

Morton, Robert, 165-66 
Moudrey, David Samuel, 42 
Mountagew, Lord, 145 
Munden, John, 163 
Nelson, John, 160 
Nevell, Sir Edward, 145 
Newdigate, Sebastian, 136 
Newport (or Smith), Richard, 

Norton, Christopher, 155 

, Thomas, 155 

Nutter, John, 163 
Okey, Col., 190 
Oldcastle, Sir John, 58 note 
Oxburgh, Col., 227 
Page, Francis, 174-75 
Palleotti, Marquis de, 228 
Patenson, William, 167 
Paul, Rev. William, 227 
Payne, Benjamin, 254 
Paynes, a desperate cha- 
racter, 213 

Peckham, Henry, 154 
Percy, Sir Thomas, 144 
Perkins, Sir William, 215 
Perreau, Robert and Daniel, 

260-61, 262 
Perrott, John, 227 
Philip, Clement, 147 
Philippe, Francis, 132 
Phillips, George, 193 

Executions (contd.} 

Pickering, Thomas, 32 201, 


Plasden, Polydore, 166 
Plunket, Dr. Oliver, 32, 201 
Powel, Philip, 184 
Price, John, hangman, 228 
Proctor, , 155 
Pykeryng, Christopher, 132 

, John, 143, 144 

Redmond, Patrick (who re- 
vives), 225 
Reynolds, a Brigittine monk, 


, Thomas, 183 

(who revives), 224 

Richardson, Lawrence, 162 
Risby, Richard, and another, 

Roberts, John, and sixteen 

felons, 177 
Roch, John, 166 
Roe, Bartholomew, 183 
Roidon, George, 148 
Rolfe, Henry, 159 
Rookwood, Brigadier, 216 
Rose, Richard, 21, 22 
Rossey, William, 154 
Rouse, John, 205 
Russell, Lord William, 47, 


Ryland, Wm. Wynne, 266 
Sa, Don Pantaleon, 188-90 
Sadler, Thomas, 198-99 
Salisbury, Sir John, 107 
Salmon, Patrick, 52 
Sawtre, William, 59 
Scot, John, and four others, 


, William, 177 

Senex, John, 83 

Sergeant (or Lea), Richard, 


Serle, William, no 
Shelley, Sir Bennet, 108 

, Edward, 166 

Sheppard, Jack, 233 
Shert, John, 162 
Sherwine, Ralfe, 160-61 
Sherwood, Thomas, 160 
Singleton, , 150 
" Sixteen-string Jack," 260 
Slingsby, , 190 
Smith, Captain John, 63 



Executions (contd.) 
Smith, John, known as " half- 
hanged," 221 

, William, 244 

Somer, , and three vaga- 
bonds, 146 
Somers (or Wilson), Thomas, 

and sixteen felons, 177 
Southwell, Robert, 169 
Southworth, John, 185 
Spiggott, 229 
Squire, Edward, 170 
Stacy, ,190 
Stafford, Thomas, 154 

, Viscount, 33, 201 

Strancham, Edward, 165 
Stansbury, James, 241-42 
Stanton, William, 154 
Stayley, William, 32, 200 
Story, Dr. John, 64, 157, 159 
Strangewayes, Major, 39-40 
Stretchley, , 154 
Stubbs, Francis, 193 
Tatersall, , 149 
Tempeste, Nicholas, 144 

Thistlewood, Arthur, 33, 34 

Thomas, William, 152 

Thompson (or Blackborne), 
William, 165 

Thornton, , 149 

Throckmorton, Francis, 163 

, John, 154 

Thwing, Thomas, 201 

Tichburn, Nicholas, 174, 175 

, Thomas, 174-75 

Tonge, Thomas, 193 

Town, Richard, 227 

Townley, Francis, 33 

Tresilian, Chief Justice, 106-7 

Trotman, Samuel, 260 

Turberville, Sir Thomas, 98-9 

Turner, Anthony, 201 

, Mrs. 1 80 

Tyrell, Sir James,. 123 

Uske, Thomas, 107 

Walcott, Thomas, 205 

Wallace, John, 101 

, Sir William, 31, 32 

and note, 99-100, 101 

War beck, Perkin, 121 

Ward, Margaret, 166 

Ward, William, 183 

Watkinson, Robert, 174-75 

Wawe, Wille, 111-12 

Executions (contd.} 
Webley, Henry, 165-66 

, Thomas, 164 and 


Webster, Father, 134-36 
Wells, Swithin, 166 
Weston, Richard, 180 
White, Eustachius, 166 
Whitebread, Thomas, 201 
Whitney, James, 213 
Wild, Jonathan, 235 
Wilford, Thomas, 248 
Wilkinson, Abraham, 23 note 
, Oswald, 159-60 

*} T *? 

> > ii :> 
William, a messenger of the 

King, 88 
William " Longbeard," see 

Fitz Osbert 
Wilson, Penlez, and 13 

others, 243 
Winslowe, , 151 
Woodall, Richard, 154 
Woodfen (Wheeler, or Deve- 

reux), Nicholas, 164-65 
Woodhouse, Thomas, 160 
Wright, Peter, and 13 male- 
factors, 184 

Wyndham, Sir John, 123 
Wyntreshull, Thomas, 108 
Yorke, Edmund, Williams, 
Richard, and an Irish fenc- 
ing-master, 168 
Various, of unnamed per- 

1238, "a learned squire,"3o 
1255, 18 Jews of Lincoln, 


1267, 13 rioters, 96 

1271, 33 rioters, 30 

1278, 280 Jews in London, 
and a very great 
multitude else- 
where, 97 

1284, 7 (or 16 ?) for murder 
of Duket, 97-8 

1293, 13 persons, 37 

1345, 4 servants of Sir 
John, 104 

1386, wife and 3 (4?) ser- 
vants, of landlord 
of the "Cock," 105-6 

1455, 2 or 3 for riot in 
London, 117 



Executions (contd.) 
Various, of unnamed per- 

sons (contd.) 
1467, 4 men, a fellowship 

of church robbers, 

1483, 4 yeomen of the 

Crown, 1 20 
1495, 150 adherents of Per- 

kin Warbeck, 120 
1502, a shipman, 123 
1532, certain traitors, 132 
I 537> 7 men f Lincoln- 

shire, 143 
1540, several, "in London, 


1549, 3 out of the West, 


1550, 9 felons, 151 

1552, 3 tall men and a 

lacquey, 151 

1553, 2 felons, 151 

1554, 58 after Wyatt's re- 

bellion, 152 
1556, " hangman with the 

stump-leg," 155 
10 thieves, 153 
i557> a woman of 60 and a 

lad, 155 

1570, 2 coiners, 156 
1590, 16 felons, 166 
1598, 19 felons, 170 
1640, 24 felons, 187-88 

1679, & priests, 201 

1680, 12 men and 3 women, 

1690, 6 persons, 209 


1693, 14 

1694, 18 


2I 3 



1696, 14 

1697, H 
1732, 13 
i733> 12 


1736, 2 men at Bristol (who 

revive), 224 

1737, 1 2 persons, 236 

1738, 13 236 




1750. 13 



Executions (contd,) 
Various, of unnamed per- 
sons (contd.) 
1750, 13 persons, 243 
175) 3 women drunk, 244 
1750, 6 for robbing of 6s., 

1750, ii, and Maclean, 244 

1750, 15 persons, 246 

1751, 3 boys, 246 

1752, 1 1 persons, 249 
1754. 12 249 
1757, 12 249 
1769, 5 weavers, 255 
1773, 5 persons, 258 
1780, man for robbing Jere- 
miah Bentham, 266 

1785, 20, 5 for one robbery, 


frequency of, in 1539, 141-42 
under Henry VIII., 142-43 
5,000, in Wales, 143 
gallows at, 15 
a witch of, 114 
Eyes, tearing out of, 56 

FARLEIGH Castle, 124-29 
Ferrers, Earl of, murdered 

(i 177), 82 
Ferrers, Earl 

a homicidal lunatic, 249 

his splendid procession, 250 

" drop " introduced at his 
execution, 251 

legend of the silk rope, 251 
Fielding, Henry, 

law reformer, iv, 78 

"Jonathan Wild, the Great," 

2 34 

Fielding, Sir John, 259 
Fife, Earl of, 104 
Fifth-Monarchy men, outbreak 

of, 193 

Fisher, John, Bishop of 

attempt to poison, 21-2 

and Elizabeth Barton, 133 
Fitz-Athulf, Constantine, 83-6, 

Fitz Osborn (or Osbert), William, 

known as " Longbeard," his 

execution the first recorded 

at Tyburn, 79, 103 



Flaying alive, 24-5 

Fleet Street, gallows set up in, 

J 52 

" Fleta " quoted, 31 note, 37 

Forests bordering on high- 

cleared 8, 10 note 
in England, 7-9 

Fortescue, Chief Justice, quoted, 
iv, 138 


etiquette of the gallows, 19 
hanging on trees, 19 
the elm, as a symbol of 

justice, 57 
petty courts, 57 note 

granted by the Crown, 7 
value of franchise of f urea et 
fossa, 1 8 

Freeman, Edward Augustus, 
historian, " Norman Con- 
quest" quoted, 13, 56 

French Peasantry, miserable 
condition of, as compared 
with English yeomen, 138 


mitigate punishment, vi 
minorite, plead for Jews of 

Lincoln, 94-5 
lose favour thereby, 95 

Froude, James Anthony, his- 
torian, " We cannot blame 
the Government," 136 

Fry, Mrs., quoted, iv 

" Furca et fossa," 7 

GAHAGAN, Usher, edits Latin 

authors, translates Pope into 

Latin, hanged for filing gold, 


great number of, in I3th cen- 
tury, 7 

prioresses have, 7 

ordinary form of, 63 

triangular, 63-4, 249 

how many could be hanged 
at a time ? 64 

new, erected at " The Elms " 
in 1220, 60, 103 

at " The Elms " in 1170, 60 

great number set up in 
London in 1554, 152 

Gallows (contd.) 

and bodies of Cromwell, 
Ireton, and Bradshaw, 191 

movable, introduced, 249 

at Bethnal Green, 255 

high gallows, 99, 100-1, 257 

And see Tyburn gallows 
Gascoigne, Chief Justice, on 

peine forte et dure, 38 
Gaunt, Elizabeth, last woman 

burnt in England for political 

offence, 207 
Geninges, Edmund 

" Life and Death" of, 65 

manner of his death, 166-67 
George I., 217, 219, 227 
George II., 218, 219 
George III., 219, 262 
always remote from towns, 
and why, 62-3 

scanty information as to, 62 

term used loosely, 62 

of Montfaucon, 63 

mention of, 86-7, 88, 100 
Gibbets on Kennington Com- 
mon (illustration) 
Gilpin, Bernard, " Apostle of 

the North," on rapacity of 

landlords, 139 
Glastonbury Abbey, Charter of, 

Gloucester, Duke of, murdered, 

108, 116 

Gloucester, statute of, 14 
Godfrey, Sir Edmund Berry, 

probably self -murdered, 200 

supposed murder used politi- 
cally, 200 

three men hanged for his 

murder, 201 
Goodman, Thomas 

Parliament petitions for his 
execution, 184 

dies in Newgate, 184 
Governing classes, ferocity of, 

78, 246-48, 257-58 
Governments, under temptation 

to appeal to ignorance of 

people, 156-57 
Green, J. R., historian, quoted, 

Greenford, gallows at, 15 



Gregory's Chronicle, 63, 91 note, 

no note, 111-12 
Grey, Lady Jane, 151 

older than King Alfred, 140 

destroyed, 140 
Guillotine, machine resembling, 

in use in England before the 

Conquest, 23 
Gunpowder Plot, 66 note 

does not come into Annals of 
Tyburn, 176 

not suspended by Charles II., 


nor by James II., 219 
suspended by William III. 

four times, 219 
suspended by Anne once, 

suspended by George I. 

thrice, 219 
suspended by George II. four 

times, 219 
suspended by George III. 

twenty times, 219 
insincere writing about, 219 

Halifax, machine resembling 

guillotine in use at, 23 
Hallam, Henry, historian, on 

habeas corpus, 219 note 
Hallif ord, gallows at, 16 
Hampstead, gallows at, 16 
" Hanged, drawn and quar- 
tered," see " Drawing " 
at Spalding, 19 
on trees, 19, 137 
in chains, 80, 99, 236, 246, 


from a ladder, 135, 225 
from a cart, 225 
not enough, essays on the 

question, 246-47 
revival after, see Revival 
Hanging-Sword Alley, 241- 



several hanged, 3, 45-8 
public ingratitude towards, 

Cratwell, 45, 145 

Hangman (contd.) 
" Hangman with the stump- 
leg," 45, 155 
Bull, 45 
Derrick, 45 

Brandon, Gregory, 45, 46 
Brandon, Richard, 46 
Lowen, 46, 188 
Dun " Esquire," 46 
Ketch, Jack, 46, 47, 207 
his name became generic, 


Rose, Pascha, 46, 207 

Price, John, 47, 228 

Meff, John, 47 

Thrift, John, 48 

Dennis, Edward, 48 

and Jonathan Wild, 235 
Hanover Square, 69 note 
Harington, William, manner 

of his death, 167 
Harrison, William, historian 

his " Description of Eng- 
land," 21-4, 22 note. 38-9, 

misquotes Cardan, 142-43 
Hawes, Nathaniel, put in the 

Press, 41 
Hay Hill, Hyde Park, gallows 

set up at, 152 
Hays, Catherine 

murders her husband, 235-36 

inspires Thackeray's "Cath- 
erine, A Story," 236 
Heads, strange discovery of, 


stealing one made a felony, 

case of Mary Wharton, 209- 


Henrietta Maria, Queen of 
Charles I ., visit to Tyburn, 
65, 66 and note, 67, 182 
print representing of no his- 
torical value, 67 note 
Henry I., 17, 24, 56-7 
Henry II., 24 
Henry III. 
Attempt to assassinate, 30, 

88, 89, 90 
orders new gallows, 60 and 

note, 63 
mentioned, 93-4 



Henry III. (contd.) 
pardons woman who revives 
after hanging, 226-27 an d 

Henry IV., 108, 109 
Year Book of, 38 
Henry VI., 112-15 
pardons murderers of Duke 
of Gloucester after draw- 
ing and hanging, 116, 117 
Henry VII., 119, 121, 122, 123, 

141 note 

Henry VIII., 77, 126, 132 
divorces Catherine, 132 
invests himself with supre- 
macy of the Church, 133, 


divorces Anne Boleyn, 136 
procures dissolution of mon- 
asteries, 136 

his order to kill man, wo- 
man, and child, 137 
and Cardan, 142-43 
his executions, 142-43, 146 
and Catherine Howard, 150 
Protestant, burnt under 

James I., 177 

Heytesbury, a seat of the 
Hungerford family, 124, 125, 


H ighwaymen 
era of, 78 

proclamations as to, 194-95 
Hind and Hannum, 195 
Duval, 195-98 
rewards for capture of, 


rob mail of 2,500, 195 
Manchester carrier of 

15,000, 195 
mail of 5,000, 207 
excellent account given by 

Macaulay, 198 
The Golden Farmer, 211 
Witney, James, 211-13 
seven executed, 212 
20 in Newgate (1693), 213 
8 executed (1694), 213 
"The Gentleman Highway- 
man," 244 

strange story of, 259 
Highway robbery, an outdoor 
sport, 258-59 

Hinde, James, a noted high- 
wayman, 194, 195 
Hogarth, William 
representation of Tyburn 

gallows, 68, 72 
print of Idle Apprentice, 241 
" Blood-Bowl House," 241 
"Stages of Cruelty," 245, 


" Homors " of Canterbury 
Cathedral, corruption of 
" Ormeaux," 58 
Hope, A. J. B., on discovery 

of bones, 53 
Hospitals seized, 140 
Hounslow Heath, 151, 259 
Howard, Catherine, 150 
Howard, Frances 
Countess of Essex, 179 
passion for Carr, 179 
poisons Overbury, 179 
procures divorce from Earl 

of Essex, 179-80 
marries Carr, 180 
pleads guilty to charge of 
murdering Overbury, 180 
is condemned and pardoned, 


her end, 180 
Ho well, James, quoted 177, 

181 note 

Hubert, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, 80- 1 
Hue and Cry 
described by Bracton, 12 
raised in a panic, 12 
raised, 17 
" Humeaux," 60 note 

And see " The Elms " 
Hungerford, Lady Alice 

murders her first husband, 

John Cotell, 124, 126-27 
hanged at Tyburn, 124 
buried in Grey Friars Church, 

second wife of Sir Edward 

Hungerford, 125 
inherits all his goods, 126 
indicted in Somerset, 126 
trial removed to Westmins- 
ter, 127 

sentenced to be hanged, 



Hungerford, Sir Thomas, 124 
Sir Edward, 125, 126, 128, 


House, 125 
Market, 125 
Stairs, 125 
Bridge, 126 
Street, 126 
mitigates punishment of 

drawing, vi 
first mention of, 29 and 


"hurdle" and "sledge," 
words used indifferently, 
29 note, 192 

Hyde Park Corner, gallows 
erected at, 152 

ICKNEILD Street, 17 

Ina, Law of, 7 

Ireton, Henry, body hanged 

at Tyburn, 190 
Isabella, wife of Edward II., 

Iveney, gallows at, 16 

JAMES I., 176 
executions in reign of, 76 
his "favourites," 178, 181 

correct attitude towards the 

" Bishop of Rome," 178 
gross immorality of his 

Court, 178 

Was he an accomplice in 
the murder of Over- 
bury ? 181 
or guilty of the death of 

Prince Henry ? 181 
Jardine, David, on torture, 

36 note 

Jeaffreson, John Cordy, " Mid- 
dlesex County Records," 

Jeffreys, Lord Chancellor, 106 
Jews accused of murder of boy 

at Lincoln, 91-5 
eighteen hanged, 94 
280 hanged in London and 
a multitude elsewhere, 97 
lend money on relics, 138 
and note 

Johnson,' Dr. Samuel 

on procession to Tyburn, 

on Bernardi's imprisonment, 


and Dr. Dodd, 262 
on murder of Miss Ray, 


Johnson, Samuel (Rector of 
writes against the Duke of 

York, 208 

and the Government, 208 
sentenced to be whipped to 

Tyburn, 208 
degraded, 209 
sentence annulled, 209 
"John the Painter " hanged on 
gallows 60 feet high, 257 
Jones, Mary 

her piteous story, 255-58 
Sir W. Meredith on, 257-58 
Judges, ferocity of, 28, 36, 40, 

42, 166, 207 
Judicial error, terrible in 1386, 


"Juges sous Tonne," 57 
Jura regalia, 7 

of the Most High, 248 

execution on, 33, 48 
gibbets on, (illustration) 
Ketch, Jack, 207 
a famous hangman, 46-7 
beheads Lord William Rus- 
sell and Duke of Mon- 
mouth, 47 

his name becomes generic, 47 
For other hangmen see 

under Hangman 
Knightsbridge, gallows at, 15 

LALEHAM, gallows at, 16 
Landlords, rapacity of, 139 
Latimer, Hugh 
his father a typical yeoman, 

his sermons quoted, 138-39, 

on frequency of executions, 


jests at the burning of Friar 
Forest, 158 and note 



Latimer, Hugh (contd.} 
on commission to try here- 
tics, 158 

jeers at burning of Ana- 
baptists, 158 

Law-French, an exquisite jar- 
gon, 33 note 

Lawyers, the object of resent- 
ment, 19 

Leofstan, Abbat, founds Ward- 
enship of Chiltern Hundreds, 


Limbs, lopping off of, 56, 86 

Jews of, accused of murder 
of boy, 91-5 
1 8 hanged, 94 
Cathedral and Little St. Hugh, 

Lingard, Dr. John, historian, 

quoted, 168, 171 note 
Lipsius, Justus, his " De Cruce," 

v, 62 
Llewellyn, brother of David 

III., head exposed on Tower 

of London, 100 
Loftie, W. J., quoted, 62 
Lombards, attack on, 116 
London to be called " Little 

Troy," 107 

London Bridge, first heads ex- 
posed on, 100 i 
Lopez Roderigo 

accused of designing to 
poison Elizabeth, 167-68 

probably innocent, but exe- 
cuted, 168 
Lorrain, Paul 

Ordinary of Newgate, 67 

his loyalty, 227 

his broadsheets, 228- 

his "saints," 228 

account of last scene, 240-41 
Lundy Island, William Marsh 

establishes himself as a pi- 
rate there, 88-9 


gives excellent account of 

highwaymen, 198 
on Elizabeth Gaunt, 207 
on Jeremy Collier, 216 
on Major Bernardi, 216 

Macaulay, Thomas Babington, 
historian (contd.) 

on habeas corpus, 218-19 
Machiavelli, Niccolo, his 

"Prince" quoted, 157 
Machyn, Henry, value of his 

Diary, 151 
Maclean, James 

"The Gentleman Highway- 
man," 244-45 

robs Horace Walpole, 244- 


not a free-thinker, 245 
his skeleton in Surgeons' 

Hall, 245 
Magna Carta 
a conception of the thirteenth 

century, 218 

derided by Cromwell, 218 
the basis of habeas corpus, 


Mails robbed, 195, 207 
Manacles, a form of torture, 170 
Mandeville, Bernard de, 78 
describes an execution at 

Tyburn, 240 
on supply of bodies for dis 

section, 248-49 

Maps of London and of Mid- 
dlesex, 65-8 
Marble Arch 
gallows did not stand here, 


improvements, 70 
Marteilhe, Jean, 63 
Martyrdom, held to atone for 
errors of persecutors, 158- 


Mary, Queen, 77, 151, 159, 177 
Wyatt's Rebellion, 151-52 
conspiracy to rob Exchequer, 


Menteith, Earl of, 104 
Mercenaries, Foreign, 140 and 

note, 141 
Meredith, Sir William 

law reformer, 78 

on case of Mary Jones and 

another, 257-58 
Middlesex County Records, 76 
Mildmay, Sir Henry, drawn to 

Tyburn on a sledge, 192-93 
Milksop, John, a thief, strange 

case of, 17 



Milton, "Comus" quoted, 178 
Minorite Friars 
plead for imprisoned Jews, 


lose favour thereby, 95 
Misson, Henri 

"Memoires" quoted, 202 note 

Dissolution of, 136 

results of, 137-43 

destroys yeomanry, 139 

power to release thieves, 13- 

J 4 

good landlords, 138, 139, 142 
maintained the poor, 141 
Monmouth, Duke of 
execution, 47 
rebellion of, 206 
Monson, Lord, drawn to Ty- 
burn on a sledge, 192-93 
Montague, Basil 
law reformer, 78 
founds Society for the Diffu- 
sion of Knowledge upon 
the Punishment of Death, 
son of the Earl of Sandwich, 


Carlyle on, 265 
More, Sir Thomas 
quoted on title page 
on punishment for theft, 79, 
and Elizabeth Barton, 133 
on numbers hanged, 142 
Mortimer, Edmund 
invades the franchise of 

Montgomery, 18 
Mortimer, Roger 
said in error to be the first 

executed at Tyburn, 103 
his indictment, 104 note 
allowed to "gentlemen'' on 
their way to Tyburn, 202 
and note 

first recorded case, 202 note 
a seat in one refused to a 

foot-pad, 254 

Mute, prisoners standing 
to be treated as guilty, 42 
to be taken to plead "not 

guilty," 43 
And see Peine forte et dure 

NECROMANCY, a story of, 112-15 
Newbury, hundred of, fifteen 

gallows in, 7 
heads set on, 104, 107 
the " drop," 257, 267 
transfer of executions to, 


capacity of new gallows, 268 
20 men hanged at a time, 

Norden, map of Middlesex, 

65> 67 
Norwich, riot at, 29, 30 


and Tonge invent the Popish 

Plot, 199-200 

pilloried, whipped, and im- 
prisoned, 202 
last appearance in pillory, 

re-established as Protestant 

champion, 203-4 
his services rewarded, 204 
Ordeal of water, 83 and note 
Orton, Henry, condemned to 

death, 160-61 
Overbury, Sir Thomas 
murder of, 178-79 
a poet, 178 
Ox-hide used for "drawing," 

"The common," 104 

PADDINGTON, gallows at, 15 
Pardon Churchyard, burials in, 

49, 5 

petitions for execution of 

priests, 157, 184 
conflict on subject of Gates, 

203 and note, 204 
petitions for execution of 

Pickering, 205 
Paston Letters, 10 
Peasants, revolt of, in 1381, 106 ; 

in 1549, 150 
Peine forte et dure 
judge-made, 36 
successive stages of growth, 


writers mistaken as to re- 
sults of, 36, 41 



Peine forte et dure (contd.) 
originally severe imprison- 
ment to make accused 

plead, 37, 38 
Clitherow, Margaret, 39 
Strangewayes, Major, 39, 40 
Harrison on, 38, 39 
became a punishment worse 

than hanging, 40 
Stanford, Sir William, on, 41 

and note 

Spiggott's case, 41, 229-30 
Hawes's case, 41, 230 
abolished in 1772, 42 
Thorely's case, 42 
Mercier's case, 42 
Chidley's remonstrance, 187 
Penal Laws, defended by 
Elizabeth's Government, 164 


Pepys, Samuel 
sees head of Cromwell and 

others on Westminster 

Hall, 192 
sees Lord Monson and Sir 

H. Mildmay being drawn 

to Tyburn, 193 

Perreau, Robert and Daniel 
and Mrs. Rudd, 260-61 
Mr. Bleackley's account of, 


and Dr. Dodd, 262 
Persecution, religious, con- 
sidered a duty by the Re- 
formers, 157-58 
Peterborough, Abbat of, kills 
some of his monks, 138 
Philip, husband of Queen Mary, 


"Piers Plowman" quoted, 130 
Pike, Luke Owen, " History of 

Crime" quoted, 203 note 
Pirates, numerous, where and 

how executed, 20 and note 
Pits for burial at Tyburn, 51 
Placita de Quo Waranto, 14, 15 
Poaching affray, 148-49 
Poisoning made high treason, 

Act so making it repealed, 

"Great Oyer of Poisoning," 

Poisons, administered to Over- 
bury, 179 


advises Richard I., 81 
Elizabeth's quarrel with, 156- 


Bunyan describes his im- 
potent railing, 156 
Pope, Alexander 
his epitaph on Trumball, 

"Tyburn's elegiac lines," 

240 note 
Pope, William, Memoirs of Du 

Val, 193-97 
Popish Plot, 199-205 
Sixteen persons executed for, 

20 1 

Population of England 
under Henry VI 1 1., estimated 

at 5,000,000, 141 
Prance, Miles, a perjurer, his 

punishment, 202-3 
Preachers of new doctrines im- 
ported, 139-40, 142 
Predatory Classes, civilisation 
has improved their opportu- 
nities of plunder, n, 12-13 
Pretenders, adherents of, exe- 
in 1715, 227 
in 1718, 228 
in 1746, 33 
in 1753, 249 
Pride, Thomas, 191 
Princes Street, Hanover Square, 

gallows in, 42-3 
Procession to Tyburn 
halts at St. Giles's hospital, 4 
great concourse, 145, 215, 

243, 250, 261 
Dr. Johnson on, 146, 267 
not allowed to stop for drink, 


grandest, 250 
greatest known, 263 
Dr. Dodd on, 263 
Pym, John, his body removed, 

QUARTERING, see Treason 

" RAGEMAN," statute so called, 



Ray, Miss Martha 
murdered by Hackman, 

mistress of Lord Sandwich, 

264, 265 
mother of Basil Montague, 


Grub Street ballad on, 265 
of 1745, 33, 249 
in Cornwall (1497) 121-22 
in Lincolnshire and York- 
shire (1536), 137; (1541) 149 
in the West and Norfolk 

(1549), 150-51 . 
in favour of Lady Jane Grey 

(1553), 151 

Wyatt's (1554), 151-52 
in the North (1569), 155 
Great, 185 

Monmouth's (1685), 206 
Regicides, execution of, 190 
Religious liberty not understood 

in the i6th century, 157-58 
Reprieve, story of, 266 
" Resources of civilisation," 


Revival after hanging, 221-27 
John Smith, 221-23 
Duel, 223-24 
Chovet studies the question, 


Gordon, 224 
Reynolds, 224 
two mon at Bristol, 224 
Patrick Redmond, 225 
Anne Greene, 225-26 
Margaret Dickenson, 226 
Ivetta de Balsham, after 
hanging 12 hours, 226-27, 
and note 
planned by Jack Sheppard, 


of Dr. Dodd attempted, 263 
Richard I. 

punishment ordered by, 19 
his crusade, 79 
imprisonment and ransom, 


removes the justiciar, 81 
Richard II., 106, 108, 109, no 
Richardson, Samuel, describes 
an execution at Tyburn, 
50-1 236-40 

Riley, Henry Thomas, quoted, 
60 note 


in London in 1222, 84-6 
in London in 1267, 95-7 
in Norwich in 1271, 29-30 
in London in 1668, 193-94 
in Strand in 1749, 242-43 
in Bethnal Green in 1769, 255 

Rishton, Edward, condemned 
to death, 160-61 

ancient forms of, crude and 

limited, 10, 13 

modern improvement and 
extension, 10, n 

Rochester, Bishop of, attempt 
to poison, 21-2 

Rocque, John, his maps, 68 

Romilly, Samuel, law reformer, 
vi, 78, 257 note 

Rose, Richard, boiled to death, 
21, 22 

Rotuli Hundredorum, 14, 15, 16 

Royal Exchange, pillory at, 
202, 203 

Russell, Lord William, 
executed for Rye House Plot, 

47, 206 

and execution of Pickering, 

Rye House Plot 
executions for, 205-6 
and Elizabeth Gaunt, 206 

SADLER, THOMAS, steals Chan- 
cellor's mace, 198-99 
St. Alban's 

Leofstan, Abbat of, see Leof- 


highwaymen at, 211 
St. George, Hanover Square 
map of Parish, 68 
Dr.Dodd and the living of,26i 
St. Giles-in-the-Fields 
"St, Giles's bowl," 4, 243 
supposed site of royal gallows, 

58-9, 58 note 
Tangier tavern, lying in state 

of Claude Duval, 197 
St. Hugh (Little) of Lincoln- 
story of, 91-5 

Chaucer's " Prioress's Tale, 1 ' 



St. John of Jerusalem, Priory 

of, 49, 50 

St. Margaret, Westminster, ex- 
humed bodies buried in a 

pit, 192 
St. Mary-le-Bow, occurrences 

at, 80-1, 97-8 

St. Pancras (old church), Jona- 
than Wild buried at, 235 
St. Paul's Cathedral, 87 
St. Paul's, Covent Garden, 197 
Saint Sepulchre's 

burial in, refused, 50 

burial in, 150 

tolling of great bell estab- 
lished, 175-76 
St. Thomas-a- Waterings 

gallows of, 6 1 

executions at, 148, 180 
Salisbury, a non-juring parson, 

forges to prejudice the 

Government, 220 
Samson, Abbat of Bury St. 

Edmund's, 137 
Sandwich, Lord 

" protector " of Martha Ray, 

invents the .sandwich, 265 
Saussure, Cesar de 

quoted, iv 

on benefit of clergy, 131 

on peine forte et dure, 230 


Savoy, custom of, 10 
Scots, the first and last, on 

whom the full punishment 

for treason inflicted, 33 

at Newgate every 3 weeks in 

1539- H 2 

at the Marshalsea every fort- 
night, 142 
Shaftesbury, Earl of, directs 

the Popish Plot, 200-2 
Shakespeare quoted, 64-5, 65 

note, 116, 157, 170 
Shard, Justice, strains the law, 

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, poet, 

quoted, v 
Sheppard, Jack 

a great prison-breaker, 230 

story of his last escape, 231-33 

re-captured and hanged, 

Sheppard, Jack (contd.) 
life written by Defoe, 233 
portrait by Thornhill, 233 
inspired a sermon, 234 

Shepperton, gallows at, 16 

" Ship of Fools," iv, 140 note 

Shirley's "Wedding" quoted, 

Shoplifting Act, vi, 220, 246 
denounced by Romilly, 220 

Shoreditch, Sir John of, his 
murder, 103-4 

Sidmouth, Viscount, vi 

Sieveking, Mr. Herbert, vi, 65 
note, 68 

Sisamnes, story of, 24 

" Sixteen-string Jack," 260 

Slavery, re-established in Eng- 
land, 140 

Sledge, "sledge "and "hurdle," 
words used indifferently, 192 

Smith, Sir Thomas 
"De Republica Anglorum," 

quoted, 35 
tortures, 35 
on benefit of Clergy, 130-31 

"The Elms" of, the civic 

gallows, 57, 58, 59 
burnings here for heresy, 59 

and note 

single combat in, 1 15 
" Fires of Smithfield," not ex- 
tinguished by death of 
"bloody Mary," 177 
Sir W. Meredith on, 257-58 
execution of highwayman at, 

execution of bankrupt at, 227 

Society, for the Diffusion of 
Knowledge upon the Punish- 
ment of Death, 258 

Sorcery, a story of, 112-15 

Southwell, Robert 
tortured, 36 
poet and martyr, 168-69 

Spalding, hanging at, 19 

Spaniards, rumour that Philip 
has brought in 12,000, 154 

Spiggott, , put in the Press, 
41, 229-30 

Stafford, Thomas, his rebellion 
and execution, 154 

Staines, gallows at, 16 



Stanford, Sir William, " Les 
Plees del Coron,'' 33 note, 40, 
41 and note 

Stanley, Dean, quoted, 25, 58 

States General 

surrender Regicides, 190 
and Sir Thomas Armstrong, 

Statute Book, 200 capital 
offences on, 6 

Statutes cited 

3 Edw. I. (1275), c. 12, 37 

4 Edw. I. (1276) ("Rage- 
man"), 14 

4 Edw. I. (1276), c. i, 2, 131 
6 Edw. I. (1278) (Statute of 

Gloucester), 14 
13 Edw. I. (1285) (Statute of 

Winchester), 10 note 
18 Edw. III. (1344), St. 3, 

C. 2, 132 

25 Edw. III. (1352), St. 5, 

C. 2, 30-1 

25 Edw. III. (1352), St. 6, 
c. 4, 129 

3 Henry VII. (1487), c. 3, 

4 Henry VII. (1488-9), c. 19, 
141 note 

22 Henry VIII. (1530-1), 
c. 9, 21 and note 

23 Henry VIII. (1531), c. I, 

26 Henry VIII. (1534), c. i, 

27 Henry VIII. (1535-6), 
c. 25, 143 

32 Henry VIII. (1540-1), 

c. 16, 147 
i Edw. VI. (1547), c. 3 (Slave 

Act), 140 
i Edw. VI. (1547), c. 12, 22, 


i Eliz. (1559), c. i, 163 
23 Eliz. (1581}, c. i, 164 
27 Eliz. (1584), c. 2, 175 
i James I. (1603), c. 15, 227 

21 James I. (1623) c. 6., 77 ; 

c. 19, 227 

Statutes cited (contd.) 

13 Charles II. (i66i),c. 15,192 
4 & 5 Will, and Mary (1602), 
c. 8, 195 

7 & 8 Will. III. (1695-6), 
c. i, 214; c. 19, 215 

8 & 9 Will. III. (1696-7), 
c. 2, c. 8, c. 26, 215 ; c. 5, 217 

9 Will. III. (1697), c. 2, c. 21, 
215 ; c. 4, 217 

10 Will. III. (1698), c. 12,* 

vi., 78, 22O-2I, 246 

10 Will. III. (1698), c. 19, 


i Anne (1701), St. i, c. 29, 

4 & 5 Anne (1705) c. 4, 227 

5 & 6 Anne (1706) c. 6, 221 
i Geo. I. (1714), st. 2, c. 7, 

i Geo. II. (1727), st. i, c. 4, 


5 Geo. II. (1732), c. 30, 227 
8 Geo. II. (1735), c. 20, 224 


25 Geo. II. (1752), c. 37, 
247, 250 

12 Geo. III. (1772), c. 20, 

26 Geo. III. (1786), c. 49, 78 
7 & 8 Geo. IV. (1827), c. 27, 

7 & 8 Geo. IV. (1827), c. 28, 

43, 131 
5 Edw. VII. (1905), c. 13, 


Acts suspending habeas 
corpus cited generally, 

See also under ^Ethelstan, 

Alfred, Henry I., Ina, 

William the Conqueror. 

Stephen, Sir James Fitzjames, 

opinion that we have gone 

too far in abolishing the 

penalty of death, 6 

quoted, 12, 18, 36, 57, 129, 


Stirling Castle, siege of, 99-100 
Story, Dr. John 
a bitter persecutor, 157 

* This is the Shoplifting Act. It is also frequently cited as 10 & 
li Will. III., c. 23. 




Story, Dr. John (contd.) 
his execution memorable, 

triangular gallows first used 

for, 157 

his career, 159 
kidnapped, 159 
executed, 159 
Stow John, burial of executed 

persons, 49-50 
Strangeways, Major, manner of 

his death, 39-40 
Stumphius, an imported 

preacher, 142 
Strype, John, historian, quoted 

51-2, 69 and note, 158 note 
Surgeons and bodies of exe- 
cuted criminals, 239, 243, 244, 
248-49, 249 

Surgeons' Hall, 223, 248 
Hogarth's " Stages of Cruel- 
ty," 245 
bodies of murderers to be 

given to, 247, 248-49 
body of Earl Ferrers in, 

250, 251 
body of Mrs. Brownrigg, 

Swift, Jonathan 

on " Blueskin,'' 234 note 
on " Clever Tom Clinch," 

his " Jests," 45, 64 note 
his " Newes out of Purga- 

torie," 64 

Teddington, gallows at, 15 
Temple Bar, heads exposed on, 

Thieves and robbers pursued 

without mercy, 13 
Thistlewood and four others, 

manner of execution, 33, 34 
Throckmorton, Francis, alleged 

treason of, 163-64 and note 
Thumbs, tying together, 42 
Tilford, the oak of, 15 note 
" Time is money," 54 
Tonge, Dr. Ezrael, 199 
Topcliffe, Richard, the English 

Torquemada, 169 

illegal, but practised, 35, 36 

Torture (contd.) 

Hallam on use of, 35 
use of, denied by Sir Thomas 
Smith, who practised it, 35 
use of, defended by Lord 
Burghley, 35-6, 161-62, 
162-63 an d n t 
use of, defended by Sir R. 

Wiseman, 36 note 
Jardine on, 36 note 
last recorded case, 36 note 
of Edmund Campion, 161-62 
of Alexander Brian, 161-62 
the Government's defence 

of, 161-62 
of Francis Throckmorton, 

164 note 

of Southwell, 169 
used in ordinary cases, 169- 

Tower of London, place for 

exposing heads, too 
Townley, Francis, manner of 

execution, 33 
" Trailbaston," inquisition so 

called, 16 

Travellers, murder of, 9 
Treason, high 

denned by Statute, 30-1 
punishment of, 31-4 
form of sentence, 31 
later form, 31 
last execution for, 33-4 
Treason, petty, 28, 104, 105 


Treasury of king at Westmins- 
ter robbed, n, 24-5 
Turberville, Sir Thomas de 
drawn to gallows on an ox- 
hide, 28 note, 99 
execution of, 31 note, 98, 99 
Turner, Mrs., inventress of 

"yellow starch," 181, note 
Tyburn Gallows 

probable number of persons 

executed at, 3, 75-8 
methods of execution, 3, 4 
superstition, 48 
slang expressions, 48 
burials from, 49-53 
site of, 54-70 
gallows, when first set up, 

not before Conquest, 54 
probably about 1108, 56-7 



Tyburn Gallows (contd.) 
first known as " The Elms," 

no evidence of supposed 

changes of site of royal 

gallows, 58, 60-1 
Earl of Oxford has gallows 

here, 59 
gallows in constant use, 


permanent, 61 
movable, 61, 69-70 
why so far from city, 61-3 
and gibbets, 62 
original form of gallows, 


triangular, 63-4, 67-8, 71 

proposals to remove, 69 

removed, 69-70 

last execution at, 70, 72 

chronology of, 71-2 

Dry den on, 74 

annals of meagre, 75 

mention of, sometimes omit- 
ted, 91 note 

first recorded execution, 79 

mistake as to Roger Mor- 
timer, 103 

said to be hung with gar- 
lands, 182 

Chidley nails his protest 
near, 187 

whipping from Newgate to, 

. 202, 208, 209 

pillory at, 202 

said to be hung in mourn- 
ing, 214 

reason of removal to New- 
gate, 267, 268 

martyrs of, 268 

Oratory near, 268 
Tyburn Gate, 70 
Tyburn ticket, 220 and note 

VILLON, FRANCOIS, poet of the 
gibbet, 63 

execution of, 31-2, 32 note, 

99, ico 
his head the first exposed 

on London Bridge, 100 
Walpole, Horace 

robbed by Maclean, 244-45 

Walpole, Horace (contd.) 
his account of execution of 

Earl Ferrers, 251 
execution of pirates at, 20 

and note 

Execution Dock, 63 
Warbeck, Perkin, pretender, 


Watling Street, 8, 17, 67 
Waverley Abbey, reference to, 

15 note 
Weavers of Bethnal Green, 


"Were" and " wite," 55 
Westbourne, gallows at, 16, 58 
Westminster, Abbat of 
has 16 gallows in Middlesex, 

13, 15-16, 58 
houses wrecked, 84-5 
Westminster Abbey, Dean's 
Yard, formerly " The Elms," 


Wharton, Mary, stolen, 209-1 1 
Whitney, James, a noted high- 
wayman, 211-13 
Wild, Jonathan 
director of a great system 

of robbery, 234-35 
exploits celebrated by Field- 
ing, 234 
pelted on way to Tyburn, 


William the Conqueror abo- 
lishes capital punishment, 


substitutes other punish- 
ments, 56 
William III. 

Shoplifting Act, 78 
Assassination Plot, 215-17 
imprisons Bernardi without 

trial, 217 
the first king who suspends 

habeas corpus, 218-19 
William, the sacrist of West- 
minster Abbey, n, 24-5 
roads near, unsafe, 9-10 
Statute of, 10 note 
Woman burnt for treason 
Mrs. Gaunt, in 1685, the 
last, except for coining, 


Woman burnt for treason 


narrow escape of Mrs. Mere- 
wether, 207 

Wren, Sir Christopher, 225 
Wyatt, Sir Thomas 
his rebellion, 151-52 
beheaded, 152 

"YELLOW Starch," 181 note 

Yeomen, English 

a prosperous class, 138 
helped to maintain poor, 

i39> H 1 

destroyed, 139, 140, 141 
Yonge, Justice 
his methods, 166 





Marks, Alfred 

8579 Tyburn tree, its history and 

M3 annals